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If there is a musical activity whose health benefits I tend to hear and read the most about, it is singing. What makes singing so special, and what impact does it have on our physical, mental, and spiritual health?
My guest today is Dr. Diana Allan, President of National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). Dr. Allan is a soprano with extensive performance and university teaching experience. Dr. Allan recently retired from The University of Texas at San Antonio and currently serves on the Voice Faculty of Missouri Southern State University.
- Singing’s effect on our:
- Hormones and neurotransmitters that boost mood and the immune system.
- Stress-reduction: cortisol levels (associated with heightened stress levels) are reduced when we sing for pleasure (as opposed to performing, which can be stressful).
- Endorphins, which have a pain reducing and mood lifting effect.
- Immunoglobulin A (IgA), an antibody blood protein that is an important part of the immune system.
- Spiritual health
- Social well-being
- Heart and lung function
- Oxygen flow to all parts of the body.
- National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) and the resources & benefits offered.
- Recommended resources to learn more about the benefits of singing and find a voice teacher (or other local opportunity to sing).
- National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS)
- NATSCast Podcast Network
- Diana’s website
- Diana’s books:
- The Mindful Musician: Physical and Mental Strategies for Optimal Performance (2022) (Not yet available in the US)
- The Relaxed Musician: Mental Preparation for Confident Performances (2011). (Available on her website.)
Other episodes we mentioned or that you may enjoy:
- Ep. 137: What makes a lullaby a lullaby, and what difference does it make? with Laurel Trainor, PhD
- Ep. 51: Conscious music: How do lyrics shape my mental narrative? with Jamie Goldstein, PsyD
- Ep. 85: Smule – Connecting the World Through Music, with CEO Jeff Smith, PhD
- Ep. 36: Mental Skills for Stress Reduction and Peak Performance, with author Dr. Vanessa Cornett
- Ep. 149: Corporate team-building & wellness through music; with Rock and Roll Team Building Founder Ciaran Gribbin
- Ep. 130: What are music psychotherapy and vocal psychotherapy, and how do they work? with Dr. Diane Austin, D.A., LCAT
- Ep. 123: Transcending divisions and conflict through song, with The Jerusalem Youth Chorus’ Micah Hendler
- View all episodes related to Science & Health
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Diana shares a couple vignettes that illustrate the gift that teaching voice has been for her – a gift that keeps on giving!
Thank you so much to Diana for sharing with us today and for all she does to enhance lives with music through her teaching, performing, and her role as President of NATS.
As always, there are lots of links in the show notes, as well as a transcript of this episode and a list of related episodes you may enjoy.
All Enhance Life with Music episodes are evergreen; so check out the back catalogue for more ways that music can make your life better.
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Thank you so much for joining me today. Until next time, may your life be enhanced with music.
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