“There’s a taboo about speaking or singing in public. We think that people will judge us or make fun of us. Yet we were all given a voice to tune in and to express ourselves.” Tania de Jong AM, Tedx Melbourne talk: How Singing Together Changes the Brain
Soprano and social entrepreneur, Tania de Jong, has been spreading the word about the health and social benefits of singing in groups for some years now. Backed by science, she has undertaken to change people’s perceptions of singing and to unleash voices she finds have often been ‘silenced’.
In an interview with The Institute For Creative Health, Tania explained in brief the physiological responses our brain has to singing and how this is important to human wellbeing.
“Neuroscience proves people who sing in groups are happier, healthier, smarter and more creative,” she said.
“Every time you sing you fire up your brain’s right temporal lobe and release endorphins, which heighten states of pleasure, bliss, bonds and love.”
To encourage this in others, and to remove the chains of being told ‘you can’t sing’, Tania has devised and implemented national music programs that reach individuals of all ages from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds. One such program, the With One Voice choirs, are presenting a series of big events this October that will gather large groups together to sing along to happy and popular tunes.
With One Voice Brisbane are performing in Musgrave Park on 11 October, and the choirs of Melbourne are coming together for a huge concert at Melbourne Town Hall on October 12 to raise funds that will help keep the choirs going. Members of the public in Victoria will have the opportunity of joining in with choirs and taking part in a singing workshop at The BIG Community sing, happening at Federation Square this Saturday.
The With One Voice choirs gather weekly to sing together, build friendships, and live happier, healthier lives. Currently, choirs exist across Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane and are expanding, with new groups starting up in Holland and a pilot program launching in Arizona.
The group also take part in a Wish List program, where participants can share their wishes and grant them for each other. A number of pending and granted wishes can be viewed on the Creativity Australia website. This shows how valuable the With One Voice choirs are for connecting people and providing a community mentality that overrides our increasingly individualistic existences.
Photo credit: Eclipse Magazine
BIG Community sing @Fed Square (Main Stage) from 1:30pm- 3pm, 4 Oct
With One Voice Choirs and the public singing together
The best of Sing For Spring videos will be played
Will feature a video of Tania’s TEDx Talk How singing together changes the brain
With One Voice Brisbane @Musgrave Park, Sth Bris 11 Oct, 11- 11:30am
Presenting songs and stories
One BIG Voice Concert @ Melb Town Hall from 3-5:30pm, 12 Oct
Tickets must be purchased
Over 400 voices from a multitude of nationalities, faiths, ages,
Best of Sing For Spring videos will be shown