I have always had a passion for the performing arts, particularly singing. Before moving to Sydney four years ago, I lived in Wagga Wagga and regularly performed in a variety of formats including musical theatre, radio jingles, TV commercials, live band performance, acoustic gigs and charity concerts.
I hadn’t really been singing and performing for the last four years but after a colleague introduced me to Matt, I was asked to sing for Starlight TV that same day and have been asked back for Starlight TV’s Friday live sessions. Music brings me such joy and it’s so nice to be able to share that joy in a meaningful way. When people thank me for singing, my response is “Thank you!” because they have given me an opportunity to sing and an outlet for my creative side that doesn’t always get a chance to be expressed. I honestly get so much positive energy through the act of singing that it is such a positive experience for me too. In fact, there is research to support this! Some studies have reported that singing can contribute to and improve personal and social well-being (Clift & Hancox, 2001; Joseph & Southcott, 2014; Weinberg & Joseph, 2017 [see also: https://www.abc.net.au/classic/features/how-music-works-what-happens-to-your-brain-when-you-sing/10115596])
My favourite experience so far has been dressing up as Elsa from ‘Frozen’ and visiting the wards. I also contacted a cookie company called Dough Re Mi to see if I could purchase their ‘Frozen’ themed cookies to give out to the kids. The company is based in Wagga Wagga and the response I received from the owner, Meredith, was overwhelming! After hearing what the cookies were for she very kindly donated them to the children of SCH. It was a special added extra to be able to visit the wards in costume and hand out the most beautifully decorated cookies to some very excited faces.
A big thank you to Matt Ralph for giving me this opportunity and thank you to my supervisors and colleagues who have been very supportive in allowing me to escape the office from time to time to indulge in the joy of music!
Clift, S.M. & Hancox, G. (2001). The perceived benefits of singing: findings from preliminary surveys of a university college choral society. The Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health, 121(4), 248-256.
Joseph, D., Southcott, J. (2015). Personal fulfilment through singing in a University of the Third Age Choir. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 34(3), 334–347.
Weinberg, M. K., Joseph, D. (2016). If you’re happy and you know it: Music engagement and subjective wellbeing, Psychology of Music. doi:10.1177/0305735616659552