The joy of singing

ANY passer-by watching the throng of singers leaving an Inspiration rehearsal, on a Monday night in Leeds and Wednesday in Newcastle, could not fail to be struck by one thing: every one of us is grinning from ear to ear. Talk to a member of Inspiration about what they get out of the experience and what keeps them coming back every term and they’ll talk about the joy of meeting new friends, and how the wonderful camaraderie is enhanced by stretching our brains and vocal chords in the joint effort of learning the music, words, and character of every song under cheeky, cajoling, patient and expert guidance from Gary.

They’ll tell you about the laughter, how the cares and troubles of the day are blotted out by concentration, the great feeling when the sounds of men and women in different parts starts to come together, the goosebumps we feel at certain moments in certain songs and the fantastic journey of discovery we make as we explore music we may never have heard before as well as the more familiar. They might also mention how welcoming Inspiration is to newcomers, with everyone happy to show you the ropes. No-one is a stranger for more than two minutes, and any nerves about reading music are quickly swept away because repetition, use of CDs at home and the enthusiasm we all feel about practicing mean no-one is disadvantaged if they can’t read the notes.

Inspiration members talk about getting ‘hooked’ on singing, and it IS addictive - be warned! But who wouldn’t want to become addicted to a creative activity that gives you a natural high every time, and one which lasts for hours or sometimes days afterwards? Scientific research has shown that singing and the ‘feelgood’ endorphins it releases in the brain helps to boost the immune system, lower blood pressure, relieve stress and lessen symptoms of depression. It’s been prescribed for asthma sufferers and for heart patients; it improves breathing and posture and has been shown to be beneficial to Alzheimer’s patients. And the social benefits of singing in a group are incalculable.

Inspiration is a community in itself, and is part of a wider community it looks to become more and more involved with. When we sing audiences not only applaud warmly and enthusiastically but we can see in many faces a longing to join in.  We feel good, we want them to go home feeling great - and yes, possibly even so inspired by our songs that they  give it a go themselves.  If you need encouragement to sing, our advice to you would be don’t think twice. Park your bashfulness at the door. You know you want to – and we know it’s good for you!

The joy of singing

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