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Sing Even if You Suck at It!

I just finished a one-hour virtual sing-along and it was so much fun I couldn’t wait to tell you about it! Today’s session featured the songs of the prolific composer and performer Carole King. Do these ring a bell? “I Feel the Earth Move,” “You Make Me Feel (Like a Natural Woman),” “Memories.” So many more. Who knew that King wrote “The Loco-Motion”? Or that James Taylor’s “You’ve Got a Friend” was composed by King? Now I’m not a very good singer although I love to sing along in the car, in the shower, or on the dance floor. But luckily, this sing-along requires no experience—or talent.

How does it work? The sessions are weekly on Fridays, at 11:45am Central time. You sign up to get notified and receive an email on Thursday with the next day’s theme and Zoom link. At the appointed time, you join via Zoom and can choose to come on camera or not. There were 35 of us today, mostly women but a handful of men too. Amy, our organizer, had curated some fun facts about Carole King, such as: She was born in 1942 and is still living, was married 4 times but is single now, has made 25 solo albums, is in the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock’n Roll Hall of Fame, and 2 of her 4 kids are musicians.

Amy interspersed our singing with these fun facts. When it came to singing, think karaoke but with no audience. For each song, Amy shared her screen and a YouTube video featuring the words, teleprompter style. We were all muted so  we could only hear ourselves sing. At first I was sitting but soon enough, I stood up so I could sway along with the music and really belt it out. And what wonderful organization is putting together these free sing-alongs for anyone 55+ to join? Sounds Good! Choir is a Chicago-based nonprofit founded in 2016 and dedicated to “providing an excellent and accessible artistic environment for older adults, 55 and over, who seek arts education and performance opportunities under a professional artist.” Besides the regular choir, I love that they’ve also added a Good Memories Choir, “for people with early-stage memory loss and their care partners, singing together.” Sounds Good! Choir went virtual during Covid and also added this more relaxed weekly sing-along for all to enjoy free (along with a separate free session to serve the needs of the memory-loss singers and their caregivers).

Besides being a ton of fun, did you know that singing is good for your body and mind? Research shows that singing reduces stress, boosts lung function, improves mental health and mood, and more. And when we sing in a group, we release the love hormone, oxytocin! Want to join me and the rest of the singers in the next sing-along?

Learn more here: https://soundsgoodchoir.org/sg-sing-along/ As Sounds Good! Choir states, “You’re never too old to try something new—and to have the time of your life!” And I agree. That’s why I encourage all my THRIVE members to get out of their comfort zones and dare to live boldly.

YOUR TURN: When’s the last time you tried something new? Even if it meant feeling a little silly or self-conscious? Let us know in the comments!

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