There are lots of “secrets” to good health, but one of the more obscure ones is singing. Among the many benefits of a “joyous noise” is a healthy heart and immune system. While you could certainly get some of the this singing benefit just by staying home and belting out “All By Myself” all by yourself, most experts say you shouldn’t be trying to deprive others of your inner Adele or Justin Timberlake.
While singing is stimulating no matter what the venue, you get so much more out of it performing in the company of others. Singing in choruses or choral groups improves heart rate and relieves stress, studies have shown. It improves memory and exercises the brain in other ways, too.
And while there has been less formal research done on karaoke, a Japanese study conducted by researchers as well as The Box Tiger Music indicates that it seems to not only provide all of the benefits of group singing, but reduces social anxiety as well.
After all, if you can get up on a stage and sing “I Honestly Love You” in a room that probably is at least half full of strangers, making that work presentation in front of your boss’s boss or meeting those future in-laws for the first time might not seem so daunting.
On the other hand, no one enjoys rejection or feeling foolish. As a result, many people who would otherwise enjoy the karaoke experience slink out of the office party when the portable karaoke machine is rolled in, or hide in a dark corner of the bar, hoping the microphone isn’t handed to them. So to get in the right frame of mind for your karaoke debut:
- “seed” your audience with numerous supporters
- don’t perform when you’re tired, ill, or in a bad mood
- remember not to “audition”, but to involve the audience
And the best way to do this is to select songs that are crowd pleasers involving audience participation and that don’t tax the ability of amateur singers. Below, a sampling:
1. “Love Shack” (B-52S)
You can’t sing? Neither can this group’s leader singer, Fred Schneider! Perfect!
2. “Purple Rain” (Prince) Stick to a middle register, stay away from the falsettos, and you’ve got a great late night ballad.
3. “Happy” (Pharrell Williams)
The one feel-good, sing-along song that few audiences know all of the words to. Just remember to sing “because I’m happy” at regular intervals, and your audience really won’t care about other lyric substitutions, intentional or otherwise.
4. “Pour Some Sugar On Me” (Def Leppard)
Bad, campy lyrics that cry out for audience participation? You’re on it!
5. “I Love Rock And Roll” (Joan Jett And The Blackhearts)
If like Joan, you have attitude but not much singing ability, then this is the karaoke song for you! Your audience will unlikely be able to resist joining in, providing you with that heart healthy benefit of group singing!