For one big (virtual) community sing-along, Shared Harmonies is calling for the public to submit their thoughts on human connection, to help ease ‘isolation blues’ and loneliness, through the power of song
As we're now settling into the realities of living in lockdown, face to face social interactions are no longer allowed and life happens behind closed doors. Whilst we're all experiencing challenging times, the singing social enterprise, Shared Harmonies has launched the 'Our Song' initiative to give people “the feeling of connection to one another”, whilst staying put at home.
The idea is to compose a song based on lyric and image suggestions from across the UK, posted on Shared Harmonies’ Facebook wall. Each day, thought-provoking challenges are released on the wall to get your creative juices flowing. This interactive projects aims to encourage as many participants as possible to ‘help build and compose a song about the meaning of connection’. In doing so, they hope to alleviate some of the 'isolation blues' and feelings of loneliness, that may creep into our daily lives.
The song will be released to the public later this month for a vote on draft lyrics, drawn together by the Shared Harmonies' composers. Once the final version of ‘Our Song’ is ready, the public will be invited to take part in recording it together - via virtual means!
Singing for wellbeing
The power of singing can really do wonders for our health and wellbeing, as Science writer Victoria Williams notes in her roundup of ‘5 Wellbeing Benefits of Singing’, the rush of feelings singing can bring, is similar to that of a good laugh, or even a hug.
“Cortisol drops as you sing, but what’s even better is that it’s replaced by a cocktail of feel-good hormones called endorphins. Finally getting a tricky bit of music right, putting a beautiful harmony together, or just belting out a favourite song triggers endorphins like oxytocin and dopamine.”
Shared Harmonies' Director Emma Baylin, says, “We know from the workshops we run with vulnerable members of the community that singing can help improve your mood, evokes feelings of happiness and help you connect with others, so we decided to create ‘Our Song’ to get the community involved and lift spirits.”
The social enterprise aims to improve confidence, communication and wellbeing through inspirational singing. In normal practice, Shared Harmonies offers a range of services that include community singing groups, workshops, organisation team building sessions and workplace choirs.
Emma also notes that the public response to ‘Our Song’ has been ‘fantastic’, saying, “we encourage people of any age or musical ability to get involved. We are very much looking forward to seeing how the project progresses.”