Music and Singing - some thoughts

The group at Mass on the Grass day
There are many benefits to singing not least because you become involved in the music. Music creates feelings within us, helps concentration, lifts moods, relaxes, provides an outlet for emotions. It can stir us, calm us, enthuse us, make us dance, tap our feet, make us weep with joy or sadness. Music is very powerful and has great meaning for most people.

Where words fail, music speaks.

Most people cannot play an instrument (but many wish they could). This does not mean music is denied to them. They can listen to radio, cd's, tapes, live performances, and so on. Performing music though? Well that's different. Isn't it?

Most people have an instrument already but do not often use it for music. That instrument is the voice. The voice can be used for performing music....for singing.

The Bible is full of references to singing to the Lord. Colossians 3:16 is very specific. The whole book of Psalms are songs to God. Here are a few good reasons why we should sing -

  • We are unified in singing. Our church community is about being unified, one body in Christ. Singing to God from the heart makes it very difficult to think about worries, anxieties, people we do not like!
  • Music and singing are used to advertise products of all descriptions. We can all think of an advert with a favoured piece of music. And we remember the product. Many hymns strengthen us and even encourage us to take some action. Singing hymns and psalms will help us remember the Lord.
  • We can learn through singing in Church. Because the majority of hymns old and modern have a liturgical reference, we can learn the love and grace of God through the scriptures, prayers, Psalms. Because music and singing are so powerful, we can teach our children God's love, because children love to sing.

"Can't" Sing?

If you sing to the Lord from your heart, your praise is as meaningful as the most fervent prayer. The more you sing, the better you will become. Here is a snippet of text found somewhere on the Internet.

"Why sing? Song is moving, or dancing, our true voice. Trust the sound that churns within you and let it be free. We use our voice all day long for chatter, why not ennoble it further by bringing it closer to sacred words? Whether they are spoken by you alone or by millions, whether they are near whispers or full-on belted out, you too can 'make a joyful noise unto the Lord'." (Mary Stair and Theodore Joslin)


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  • Sing to praise
  • Sing to worship
  • Sing for joy
  • Sing as one


"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before His presence with singing."
Psalm 100:1,2


"When I hear music,
I listen to God.
When I sing,
I speak to God."

--Michael Barger


Singing is good for you

"However, physically experiencing music in ones body is truly life-affirming. Singing is physical exercise; a kinetic act of muscles that produce sound in combination with mental processes that produce words, images and feelings. It begins with breathing. Singing requires deep, relaxed breaths, beneficial to the blood supply and proper functioning of the heart. At the same time, engaging in the mental actions required to produce a melodic succession of notes as well as words and expression (dynamics and accentuations, etc.) takes the mind off one's cares, which is, in turn, stress reducing. What a gift it is to make music! To be mentally AND physically engaged ignites in me a wonderful glow that is a sense of well-being."

Sanford Dole is Music Director of  St Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church, California