Singing is more than singing!
I’m taking singing lessons and really enjoying the benefits. It isn’t just the singing that’s firing my little brain cells into action, but many other aspects that I didn’t even consider. I want to share this because I believe it is something we all do, but not enough!
In one lesson, he talked about the importance of knowing a song rather than just liking it. Not only does this improve the singing of the song significantly, but the emotion and understanding of the song too.
See if I can explain the difference between understanding and liking. I like a wide range of music and have been singing along to songs throughout my life, but I’m the sort that likes many songs without really understanding them, and this is what I mean. I will, la, la, la, my way through a song, adding words that I think are right or seem to fit. Usually, the verses and this is sung in quiet mode, so not too many hear. Then comes the Chorus, and of course, we all know the Chorus, so up goes the volume, and I belt out the words spot on! The Chorus ends, the next part continues, and the volume and mumbling returns. Does this sound familiar?
If you ask me about the song, I’ll most likely look blankly or have a guess.
The lesson concluded with how to learn a song. I’m sure this is not the only way, but it’s working for me.
You take the first two lines. You write them down, you repeat them, and you think of the meaning. You play those two lines, listen to the words again, and listen to the soul added to them. What brings them to life? You sing along, and when you have them embedded, you can hear them, feel them and know what is coming; you move on to the following two lines.
You move onto the next two lines and add them to the first. Two becomes four, six, eight, until the song is there and you understand it and sing along with a different appreciation. You know and understand the song, more than just like it.
I’m not saying that everyone has to do this, but it certainly helps if you want to sing a song as it was meant.
At first, I did think that this was a bit of a faff. I thought it would take too much time, and what’s the point. However, what I noticed was the connections to the song, those moments when you hear a piece, and you are instantly transported back to a time, place, feeling, thought, and every thing comes flooding back, is so much clearer and brighter. It is as if the process of learning to understand a song reinforces those connections. This isn’t only to do with new songs. I’m doing this with songs I haven’t heard in over fifty years.
I have friends that can recall every word, and I suspect they have a built-in system where they listen to a few lines each time a song is played and add to them each time they replay a song.
However, for most of us, it’s la, la, la, la, la…. CHORUS!!!!
So, I’m suggesting finding a song from wherever, new or old, and learning it as I described above. If someone likes a song, go through the lyrics, two lines at a time. Talk about them, what do they mean, do they remind you of something. You’ll be amazed at what comes out, and with every utterance, a memory is held, grows and keeps those valuable brain cells ticking away happily! It’s got to be worth a try! See what happens, see if you are like me and find that singing is not just about singing!