Unexpected benefits in every note

Let’s play a game.

I’ll list the benefits of a particular activity, and you try to guess which pursuit it is.

Ready, set, go!

Improved respiratory function. Increased aerobic exercise. Stress reduction. Enhanced mental alertness. Better posture and muscle tone. Boosted immune system.

Maybe we’re talking about running? Or walking? Or yoga? Could be.

But add to that list: Expanded social connections. Greater emotional well-being and expression. Upgraded confidence levels. Higher pain threshold. Lessening of grief. Vocal and speech improvement. The possibility of less snoring.

Hmmm. Now we’re zeroing in, and those last two items probably bring the activity into a bit more focus.

No, I’m not talking about going for a jog. I’m talking about singing.

If you’re a regular Journey reader, you undoubtedly know about my love of song and my predilection to periodically share it with you. If you’re new to the column, welcome to my world.

Ever since, as I term it, I “found alto” when I was in the ninth grade, I’ve been hooked. The blending of voices in harmony spoke to me like nothing else and has continued to do so throughout the years. That’s why I like – that’s why I feel compelled – to share it with others.

“Come sing the song that’s within your heart – with my chorus! My friends know how much I love it – and I love it for good reason. If you’ve been thinking through the years about singing wonderful a cappella harmony, let June be the month that you fulfill that musical desire. Seriously. Melodiously. Harmoniously. I’ve never regretted my decision for more than 30 years.”

That nugget is displayed atop a post shared from Piney Hills Harmony’s page with these words as part of a flyer: “Visit. Sing. Smile. Repeat. With Piney Hills Harmony/Sweet Adelines. Guest nights and vocal improvement sessions Thursday, June 15 & 22. Come harmonize with us!”

The rest of the chorus post supplies additional information such as the time (6:30 p.m.) and the place (212 N. Bonner in Ruston – the fellowship hall of the Presbyterian Church of Ruston). It also notes: “All ages are welcome and all levels of singing experience, both high and low voices. The ability to read music is not required. Come join the camaraderie and fun!”

Don’t let the fear of judgment or lack of experience hold you back from exploring the world of song. Singing is an excursion into self-discovery and growth, and Piney Hills Harmony and Sweet Adelines International can help you begin, revive or continue that voyage.

So, if you’ve ever found yourself singing in the shower, humming along to your favorite songs, performing your own personal concert as you drive down the road bee bopping to the radio, or daydreaming about harmonizing with others … now is the time to take that leap of faith. Singing has the power to transform lives, nurture connections, and bring joy to both the singer and the listener.

Embrace the transformative power of music and allow it to become a source of inspiration, self-expression and personal growth.

The gift of song awaits you, ready to unlock a world of possibilities. Embrace it, cherish it and let your voice be heard. Sing your heart out and revel in the profound beauty of the journey.

And when those a cappella chords ring, get ready for some goosebumps.

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Thomas FieldsThomas “Tuffy” Fields is an author and regular contributor to The Gazette. He can …

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