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MM# 3…Sing It Out

Musical Motivator # 3:  Sing it Out!

Sing us a song, you’re the piano man
Sing us a song tonight
Well, we’re all in the mood for a melody
And you’ve got us all feelin’ all right
– “Piano Man” was Billy Joel’s first major hit and his signature song released in November 1973

Short Story of the Week:

People are letting out their music every where I go this week and it has been such a joy to hear.

The sun came out for a few moments this week in Calgary and all of a sudden I could hear the radios playing in the car next to mine with heads swaying back and forth and people singing at the top of their ranges.

I then attended a dinner party where all of a sudden song sheets were passed out (and not by me) and we all sang the favourite tunes of the hosts before we sat down to a world class dinner.

Before becoming a professor of neurochemistry at McGill University, Daniel Levitin worked as a music producer, producing numerous gold records. His insights into the effects of singing on the brain is very informative, and have confirmed what I observe regularly –  that people who sing, hum, tap their toes or drum become more happy as they do so.

I see the daily benefit of music on the persons I work with – in almost every case, after a 30 minute or one hour session, children, adults and seniors have a brighter disposition and demonstrate a new or renewed connection with those they are making music with – and not only their peers or colleagues but also with the staff and parents who are participating as well.

Levitin sites a number of studies that show that singing elevates the levels of neurotransmitters that are associated with pleasure and well being. In one example, people’s levels of oxytocin, the transmitter associated with pleasure, love and bonding, were measured before and after voice lessons. The levels increased significantly for both amateur and professional singers. Other studies have shown that the levels of IgA (helpful to the immune system) increased with choral singing , and levels of serotonin levels when listening to pleasant music (pleasant music = music that you find pleasurable).

Wow after last week’s BLUE theme I think a dose of HAPPY could come in handy so let’s SING IT OUT…..Piano Man, Bohemian Rhapsody, Who Let the Dogs Out…

Question: What song will you sing out loud to this week?


Jennifer Buchanan is the happy owner of JB Music Therapy, celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2011. “You on Music” is the 2011 series on JBMT’s “Music Speaks” Blog: 50 Musical Motivators (MMs): to Help you Relax, Reflect and Remember what you Value Most