Why laughter can help you sing better!

Thursday, February 14, 2019 by Rebekah Keogh | Uncategorized

Laughter has a long list of health benefits including physical, and mental health! Laughing releases endorphins (those happy hormones everyone's talking about), reduces stress and anxiety, relaxes your whole body, improves your mood, promotes group bonding AND lucky for us singers, it can actually help you sing better!


Inside our larynx (otherwise known as the voice box) we have what we call vocal folds, which are the source of sound when we speak and sing. On either side of the vocal folds are the false folds, whose main function is to stop food and drink being inhaled into the lungs. The false folds also constrict when we need to lift something heavy for example, covering over the vocal folds in the process. If there is any constriction of the false folds when we are singing however, it may cause strain or interfere with the sound we are trying to produce, stopping us from achieving our singing goals.

 

Lucky for us we have a quick fix for this, laughter!  A good giggle can help release this constriction freeing us up to sing with more ease!

Stand up comedy is probably not on the cards for me, but I’ve been binge watching Netflix comedy specials in hope that I’ll soak up some giggle material with my students in mind! My favourites include Iliza Shlesinger and Ricky Gervais if you fancy a good belly laugh!


Below I have included a couple of links to stroboscopes on youtube (but be warned, you may find them a bit yucky);


Stroboscopy of someone laughing;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgXSlsCYmkU


False folds retraction & constriction;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mp0rjEaiEE8