What an incredible year 2023 was with many wonderful sessions at Fleet, Yateley and Woking VoxChoirs. We sang our way through the year and celebrated our anniversary at The Harlington Fleet October 4th and raised over £900.00 for local community members to attend a new support group, originally endorsed by the NHS Frimley called ‘Inspiration Singing Group’ for better mental health and well-being. Its just amazing how we as a singing community have achieved so much together and all the members of the 3 choirs uniting as one voice.
This 2024 we kick off with some of our classic Voxy tunes and are excited to launch and reveal new recordings that the VoxVocal Team has produced over the Christmas season…lets just say the theme for Spring emphasizes our beautiful planet nad we sing in celebration of this!
Come and join the most passionate music choir in the South East and live your best life-singing-dream with us!
- Victoria BeeBee
- 4 min read
How can singing help with our wellness?
If you’ve ever found yourself going through a tough time, a low season or a sudden bout of depression or heightened anxiety, this often is missed at first, especially if we have retreated and are staying away from friends and family ‘just until we feel better’. This can often be the catch 22, how do we know how we really are until we allow others in, to take a peek and see us from the outside looking in?
Singing has been a kind of saviour for me throughout my life, through all kinds of chapters and I’ve been lucky enough to sing as a professional and tour all over the world on some magnificent stages and in some awe inspiring settings, but there’s nothing better than taking the plunge and singing with others, face to face, all together on one equal level.
If it’s hard to articulate an emotion or feeling, music can be that very frequency we need to help us exorcise the demons, or more lightly put, it helps us feel a darn sight better, opens up the neurotransmitters and pathways both mentally and physically, a bit like a light bulb switching on, serging power though it.
You could have experienced any number of traumas from the past and and live with blockages which you aren’t even aware of and could also be going through massive hormonal changes or complete lifestyle upheaval due to a recently diagnosed illness and perhaps diet and exercise/medications and supplements aren’t quite hitting the spot?
How can we connect again with other humans?
How can we get out of the rabbit hole, move forward and forge new meaningful experiences and relationships in our lives and be useful not only to ourselves but also to others?
We’ve all been through a considerable time of fear and pressure over the past 3 years and still things aren’t the same and we seem to be in unknown lands with various illnesses emerging, a lot of which can affect our mental health, the respiratory system and immune system and breathing is a key element to help with recovery. Breathing whilst singing is a really fun way to do exercises as suddenly you’ve forgotten you’re ‘doing your exercises’ and instead you’re having fun and breathing through the music and the lyrics of a favourite pop song.
Unfortunately not all medicine prescribed by a GP or health care team can completely ‘fix’ the issue, we need tools, lots of tools and support and this is where groups of people can really come into their own league and shine a torch our direction. So why not find a local singing group, one which is friendly and where you don’t have to be good at singing, but just join in and feel at one with others in a safe inclusive space? Start from the very beginning, just one note at a time and allow the vibration to engulf you, the energy to awaken you and the endorphins to flow through you once again.
Want to sing? Try this exercise.
Relax your face and jaw as if you’re beginning to yawn, only a small open mouth shape, then take a gentle breath in, put your lips gently together and hum on one straight pitch. Feel the vibration pass through the top lip and below the nostrils (Philtrum – The vertical groove between the base of the nose and the border of the upper lip). Allow the sound to resonate all around your mouth. Take note of how it feels and sounds, connect yourself to the sound. As you do this you’ll run out of air, so start again and choose any pitch or note you like. Breathe from the belly or the diaphragm each time. Once you’ve established a good hum, open your mouth to an ‘Aaahh’ shape and let the sound fully out. See how long you can hold the aaahh. There you see… you’ve begun to sing.
Written By Victoria BeeBee Singer/Songwriter/Vocal Coach & Project Leader of VoxSkool Community 2023.
Stepping Stones runs 2 singing groups a term, lead by Victoria, the Project Leader of Vox Community:
Course / Workshop Content
WHO THIS IS FOR?
VoxChoir singing has been used for many years and is now running courses from Stepping Stones Recovery College. This is a fantastic way to lift mood, reduce stress, feel good and have some fun! This beginner’s group is for any ability and it doesn’t matter if you’ve never sung before or think you can’t sing, we will teach you everything. You are warmly welcomed to a friendly, non-judgmental sociable group.
WHAT WILL I LEARN?
The benefits of singing are widely known for lifting mood, releasing endorphins, improving lung conditions and promoting good overall mental and physical wellbeing. You don’t need any singing experience. I will teach everything at the workshops – from vocal warm-ups, breathing techniques and gentle physical exercises through to learning how to use your voice properly.
HOW CAN I USE WHAT I LEARN?
Singing is a skill you can use through your whole life. The breathing techniques can help with reducing stress and anxiety and you will form bonds with other group members, plus you’ll have an array of uplifting, soul soothing songs to help with memory, focus and for the sheer joy of it!