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Itzhak Perlman on why Singing is important in all music classes

Whether you are a piano, violin, guitar or drum student, making music with your voice is as important to your musical development as is playing your instrument. It's something that I have always known, and any student of mine, past or present can to attest to my devotion to singing in music class

Singing seems so much more intuitive and natural than say, playing the piano, which is exactly why doing them together at the same time can really improve ones ability to connect to the context of any given score of music.

A musical score can be thought of as a story. Stories have plots, character development, settings, conflicts and resolutions. So does music, and when we sing through music we can indulge in the sounds of the plot by leaning in on certain notes or rush forward toward the next phrase. We can slow down or speed up, sing louder or softer. It's a physical and emotional experience that has many benefits.

According to research conducted at the University of Frankfurt, singing boosts the immune system. The study included testing professional choir members’ blood before and after an hour-long rehearsal singing Mozart’s “Requiem”. The researchers noticed that in most cases, the amount of proteins in the immune system that function as antibodies, known as Immunoglobulin A, were significantly higher immediately after the rehearsal. The same increases were not observed after the choir members passively listened to music.

Singing is known to release endorphins, the feel-good brain chemical that makes you feel uplifted and happy. In addition, scientists have identified a tiny organ in the ear called the sacculus, which responds to the frequencies created by singing. The response creates an immediate sense of pleasure, regardless of what the singing sounds like. Not only that, but singing can simply take your mind off the day’s troubles to boost your mood.

Whether you are learning to play Twinkle, Twinkle or a Beethoven Sonata, singing or humming through the melody line is an important part of ones musical, mental and physical health and can be the tipping factor that gets a student from good to GREAT! But don't take my word for it, just listen to what world renown violinist Itzhak Perlman has to say about the importance of singing!

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