“Places of worship must discontinue singing and chanting activities,” declares Governor Newsom while at the same time allowing massive protests in California with or without masks and no social distancing. Churches are closed, then they’re opened only to be closed again. Churches, mosques, temples and synagogues are of VITAL importance to the emotional, physical and social well-being of the population. With the closing of places of worship and the isolation, an increase in domestic violence, child abuse, depression, anxiety and suicide are on the rise.
Why attack singing? A possible increase in the amount of droplets that MIGHT have CoVid19 even though the people are sitting 20 feet apart. More importantly “Why NOT Singing?”
Singing has tremendous physical health benefits. Singing generally comes from the right side of the brain associated with music, emotion and melody. Speaking comes from the left side of the brain associated with language. Tempo and rhythm are important components of singing and come from the left side of the brain. Therefore both sides of the brain interact while you sing. Also music is mathematical especially if reading music and / or playing a musical instrument.
Singing helps children develop speech skills, language skills and social skills. The “happy chemicals” help reduce aggression in children. Studies have shown that children who take piano lessons and use both sides of the brain to read multiple staves of music simultaneously are better in all school subjects. Children learn languages easier through singing. Singing has been a memorization tool for hundreds of years to learn anything from the alphabet to the names of planets, from the Books of the Bible to the US Capitals.
There are physical and mental benefits for pregnant women. Pregnancy becomes less stressful. The mother’s voice has been scientifically shown to be good for the child developing in the womb. Singing makes it easier for the baby to hear her voice and develop in positive ways.
Americans tend to have shallow breathing. Singing requires breath control which improves the lungs, the quality of life and more oxygen to the brain and all body parts. The heart performs better when a person is not anxious or stressed. The “happy hormones” indirectly improve the heart. Mental health sufferers are two to three times more likely to suffer from heart disease.
Singing has tremendous mental health benefits as it releases the “happy chemicals” of endorphins and oxytocin. Dopamine is released while listening to music and serotonin is released when singing with others. All benefits of being at church. Singing in groups helps make new friends, form relationships quickly, develop a sense of community and relieves anxiety and depression.
“And your hearts will overflow with joyful song to the Lord Adonai. Keep speaking to each other with words of Scripture, singing the Psalms with praises and spontaneous songs given by the Holy Spirit.” Ephesians 5:19.
It is time to stand up and make our voices heard. As churches come under attack, let us “come together with singing,” while social distancing of course, and “make a joyful noise unto the Lord.” ■