Monday, May 22, 2017

I'm Considering Joining a Choir In Retirement-Even Though I Really Can't Sing!






I cannot sing. Or rather, I don't sound my best when I am singing. I'm not saying that I sound like a dead cat. I mean, I can carry a tune in church, don't get me wrong. But outside of church I tend to sing with the radio or in the shower. And the kids will tell you that I sing in the car during traffic. Apparently when I was driving around the fourteen lane in each direction Paris Periphique (their version of a beltway). I sang the I Hate Barney song, and then all of Gangsta's Paradise.  

I also cannot read music, although I have thought about trying the piano. Fortunately, God gives us individual gifts. What I lack in music reading and talent I gained in my ear. I can, for example, tell you whether it's Brook Benton or Nat King Cole at hundred paces even if they are singing the exact same song on the radio. Since I went to see the new Alien movie today, I can also recognize who people are behind their large makeup. Be it the Guardians of the Galaxy or Guy Pierce as an ancient shriveled man in Prometheus. 





Brook above, Nat below

I do  love music even though I neither sing nor play, and because of the ear I have blessed with appreciate things like the subtle differences between pianists, conductors and the like. Even though I cannot put it in musical terms much of the time, if ever.

The reason for this out of consciousness rambling is that I recently learned that my recreation center has a senior choir that meets weekly. And sings a variety of music. And-here's the kicker folks--does not require vocal ability. Yep. This choir is just for fun. I first heard about this months ago, and followed up with a few senior friends on Next Door. They had a wonderful time, everyone could join, and they allowed for various seating and standing arrangements as needed. I filed it in the back of my mind for further consideration. Until a later date if you will. Which perhaps is now. 




Recently I was researching healthy aging and the arts of a presentation and came upon a couple studies on the many advantages of joining a choir for seniors. Apparently, singing (especially in a group) can improve "memory, mood, and even physical function" according to this article. The study in mentioned in this article showed excellent outcomes after one year in terms of cognition, lower body strength, and emotional well being. And I can see why. In addition to standing and singing, there is socialization. As part of the singing, the group moves around and stands in different places, learns better breathing techniques in general and our choir even has an "adult snack time".

Now, obviously, joining a choir is not the only way to age well, or learn new things.  But I am the girl who likes to step outside the box. Regularly and often. And I have committed to learn or do one new thing intensively each season, so this sounds like a perfect journey to take this fall (only because they don't meet in the summer).

I mean, I'm not liable to become an opera singer after singing a few weeks. And I certainly won't be the loudest singer in the room. But I'm ready to stretch myself a bit-so that is, it would seem, where I'm headed.

In other news, I'm now watching four, count em four beagles. I've still managed to be at least a tad creative during my house sitting adventure, so it may be time for a picture's post, ya know?

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