What is a ‘Carefree’ Choir?
Here we have a regular singing activity that welcomes and actively encourages all singing abilities, from the tone deaf to the pitch perfect. The idea is to enjoy singing, with no pressure to be good at it or achieve a particular standard.
This is not a traditional workplace choir whereby the members work on a few numbers, splitting people into different voice parts, rehearsing a small selection of songs and polishing them for performance. It’s a ‘sing your heart out’ kind of session, a mindful break from the days’ activities that brings significant physical, mental and emotional benefits. It’s a safe space you can really learn to let go of inhibitions.
What to expect?
A standard session might consist of a 5-10 minute warm-up (short exercises that warm up the body, face and voice), followed by 30-35 minutes singing (belting, warbling, screeching) well known songs (approximately 6-7) from popular musical genres, ending on an uplifting song ensuring people leave with a spring in their step.
There are many, well-researched benefits for individual and group singing:
- Physical release of endorphins and oxytocin – hormones that decrease anxiety and stress and increase trust and bonding
- Singing calms negative mental chatter – when focused on the job of belting out a power ballad it is hard to dwell on unhelpful thoughts. It also provides a cathartic emotional release enabling greater focus on other tasks.
- Singing promotes good breathing techniques, which improves blood circulation increasing oxygen supply to the brain positively impacting motivation, productivity and creativity
- The brain/body coordination required during warm-up exercises and whilst singing improve memory and cognition
- Encourage positive relationships between cross-functional employees who come together to form a new ‘team’ in a different environment
- Provide a different perspective and new solutions to work problems through taking time out to focus on a non-work activity – music and lyrics provide a creative stimulus
- Promote equality confirming that we are all welcome to sing together with everyone’s contribution being equal. Comparing individual abilities is not encouraged and the focus is on each individual building their confidence to sing loud and proud
- Build resilience because the purpose is enjoyment over perfection, therefore the group learns to ‘laugh it off’ if it sounds bad or it all goes ‘wrong’
- Benefit health because singing really can boost immunity, lower blood pressure and reduce the stress hormone cortisol and so reducing absenteeism
Here’s a great article by Jim Lusty, “Singing improves your mood and fosters a creative, communal spirit, even if you’re bad at it”