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Video: Reporter sings away stresses with Blackheath vocal coach
EXPERTS claim singing can help beat stress, lift spirits and even increase your life expectancy. Reporter SARAH TROTTER tests out the benefits by trilling some tunes with a Blackheath vocal coach.
OOHING and aahing arpeggios, and sirening - albeit like some kind of anti-Mariah Carey - is frankly a very liberating experience.
Even with our cheerful photographer’s camera shoved in my face, I was made to feel relaxed by a talented teacher who invited me to “warble away my woes” in Blackheath.
Singing is well-known as a stress-buster which gives a natural high and triggers feel-good endorphins so you glide away feeling calmer, more confident and savouring the healthy addictive buzz.
As vocal coach Charlotte Lee told me: “Singing releases endorphins – you will leave feeling very positive which can have a result on the rest of your life.”
But the health benefits of exercising your body’s own musical instrument also stretches into helping the respiratory and cardiac systems as well as giving you better posture, studies say.
Comedians in the office called for a rendition of Emeli Sandé’s Read All About It for the paper but in the end my yodelling took the form of Gabrielle Aplin’s Please Don’t Say You Love Me.
Used to shower-time outbursts or perhaps crooning to a cat with my limited-four-chords-on-the-guitar repertoire, I did not appreciate how truly physical singing can be.
Poised and radiating calm, Ms Lee guided me through gentle body and voice warm-ups where I was taught how to squeeze my diaphragm to pump out the tunes.
Bare foot, “like Joss Stone” Ms Lee joked, I learnt how to pitch my voice and move it between a breathy ‘head’ voice and a deeper, more resonant chesty sound in the 45-minute lesson.
As well as how to phrase a song with controlled breathing and working on my diction with tongue-twisters like reciting ‘a proper cup of coffee from a proper copper coffee cup’ with increasing speed.
I found that juggling different vocal techniques, with correct breathing and taking note of rhythm changes helped distract me from everyday stresses and was therapeutic in itself.
Head vocal coach of Singing in the South East Ms Lee gained a Bachelor of Music degree at the London College of Music and has performed on TV, stage and at venues such as the Royal Albert Hall and the O2 Empire.
The 26-year-old mother-of-one, who lives in Shooters Hill Road, said: “For me personally I have noticed the benefits from singing.
“And as a mother, I have to blow up big rubber rings for my daughter – I find my lung capacity is far greater than most people’s and the breaths I take are much higher quality.”
I left Blackheath standing a little taller, humming happily and feeling revived – with only a minor pre-emptive guilt about my neighbours for when I next took a musical-themed shower.
Singing in the South East offers lessons for adults and children with a 30 minute weekly beginners lesson costing £25 and a 45 minute lesson at £35.00.
To find out more visit singinginthesoutheast.co.uk or call Charlotte on 07967199552.
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