Tess Read – A Right Old Sing Song
Singing is good for you. It has been proven beyond doubt. In fact 93% of all people who join a choir report that 100% of their life problems disappeared. Well, that statistic may not be entirely accurate but it’s certainly the case that singing is good for you. To quote my favourite twitter account, @VisitDartmoor, Dartmoor should be made available on prescription. When you look at the stunning photos they post of the beauty of the moors come rain or shine, you can see why.
And the same is true of singing, so good is it for your mental health. And indeed, forward-thinking doctors are doing almost that, and giving patients with a range of problems from anxiety, depression, social isolation and obesity not a prescription for a new drug but a flyer for a local community choir.
My family have another way to bring healthy doses of the vocal good stuff into our lives. Any length of journey by car means that-length-of-time, singing. As a child, I would always sing, and on car journeys, everyone else joined in too. We would sing songs from the shows, the latest pop songs, songs from my parents’ youth, anything and everything. We even invented a game to play – the song game. One person thinks of a word and the first person who can sing a snatch of song with the word in it gets a point. Two points if the word is in the title. Surely everyone does this on long journeys, no? Certainly, my children have been brought up thinking it’s normal.
And so it was that when my family drove to the Alps and back recently for winter skiing, 16 hours and 900 miles of driving each way, that just means 16 hours of singing. My voice was so warmed up, me and my daughter were strilling the highest notes in pop – you know, that high bit in ‘Lovin you’ by Minnie Riperton.
One day, Tess and the d’Urbervilles will travel the world delighting audiences with our acappella tunes and beats. For the time being, we will keep it local. Come and see us at the Topsham Taphouse on Sunday 9th February from 3 pm, and at the Respect Festival in Exeter on Sunday 7th June at 12.30 pm. We promise not to do the high bit in Loving You!