There are an estimated 5,400 animal species that make complex intentional, repeatable, musical vocalizations. Which is to say that are about 5,400 animal species that sing. Most live in the trees, a few live in oceans, a very few live undergrounds, but there are only one singing species that lives on the ground. Humans.
Humans are also the only singing species with a precise and shared sense of rhythm, which is what allows us to sing together. Two birds might sing the same song, but they can’t coordinate it. They can sing next to each other but not together.
Further, if a roomful of people sings at the same time, they start to breathe at the same time as well. And studies have shown that when people sing together, their hearts start beating together as well. Thus, if we’re singing together and breathing together and our hearts are beating together, then it’s like we’re one body.
This is one of the most enduring benefits of singing: the uniting of people at the root of their humanity. Alice Parker has oft said a community that sings together stays together. No need for fighting, or arguing, or anything else because song touches our universal core. I couldn’t agree more!
Knowing this inspires me as I work to bring singers together, or help produce an opportunity for a singer, vocal ensemble, a choir, a symphonic chorus, or community sing. Every time we bring people together around the art of song, we are making a difference in our human existence here. Now that’s something to be passionate about!
So, friends, take my advice: Just sing.