Singing is good for your health

Bishop Wordsworth Choir

Earlier this week I had to visit my local doctor’s surgery in order to give away some of my blood.  This is all part of the seemingly ongoing visits which are a direct result of getting old.  The first visit, a couple of weeks ago, wasn’t too bad. I simply turned up for my ‘routine’ over 40’s check up, answered a few questions and that was that.  Essentially I was told I eat too much, drink too much and most likely only have about 3 months to live. On the plus side apparently I don’t have diabetes!

As a follow on from this checkup I was required to go back again this week to have what’s called a fasting blood test.  This meant that from midnight on Tuesday I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink anything other than water.  Consequently by Wednesday morning I was extremely grumpy, so it was lucky for all concerned that I had an appointment at 9.30am.  Fortunately too, the nurse who extracted my blood was rather nice and the whole thing was over in a matter of minutes.

Two days later, I get a phone call saying I need to make another appointment to discuss the state of my blood.  I assume this now means I only have 2 months to live so I will start writing my epitaph.  ‘Thank God He’s gone’ would probably be a popular one!

Anyway, to be fair I suppose one shouldn’t joke about such matters and whilst I confess I am not a great fan of visiting my Doctor, I should be extremely grateful that the NHS are doing such a good job of looking after me in my old age.  In all honesty the main reason I don’t like going to see the Doctor is I have no wish to waste anyone’s time.  I’m currently breathing, I can roughly see where I am going and I can usually hear choirs when they sing to me.  So on the whole I don’t think I’m doing too badly.

The point is, sometimes it’s good for us to step outside of our comfort zone and do things which we might not initially feel too comfortable about.  If I was to believe everyone I meet during the course of a week, then it’s highly likely there would be no choirs anywhere, ever!  As soon as I mention to people that I’m a choirmaster the standard response is always ‘Oh I can’t sing to save my life’.  Theoretically there are some people who genuinely can’t sing, but there are probably better odds on Jeremy Corbyn defecting to the Conservative Party.

So, if I can bring myself to go and see the doctor then I reckon more of you should try joining a choir.  You won’t be kept waiting, in theory you shouldn’t lose any blood and, most importantly, everyone around you will be healthy.

——————

Jules Addison is Musical Director for The BlueBellesThe Pewsey BellesCirencester Male Voice Choir, The GWH Trust Choir and Transeamus Chamber Choir