WOMEN across the Hawkesbury are on song to achieve better health.
No, it’s not boot camp to build muscle, spin classes to oxygenate your cardiovascular system, even another new spring diet to fire out the fat.
The members of WomanSong are keeping in fine fettle by singing up a storm in the name of health and happiness.
And every woman and girl is welcome to join the Richmond-based singing group.
WomanSong music director Suze Pratten says singing with others can boost your overall health.
“It’s known to promote heart health by regulating the breath and oxygenating the blood,” she says.
“Endorphins, the feel-good chemicals that raise our mood, are also released when singing.
“Singing is an amazing tonic – it’s been shown to boost our immune system, strengthen our social networks, improve our communication skills and boost our confidence.”
And it’s something everyone can do regardless of age or ability.
Suze’s weekly sessions attract a healthy (pardon the pun) 30-40 singers from the greater 60-strong group as Richmond CWA Hall bursts into song every Wednesday night. You’ll hear spine-tingling harmonies, rounds and rousing freedom anthems in glorious three-part harmony.
“Our motto is ‘Laugh, Sing, Belong’,” Suze says. “We have an emphasis on fun, and building a supportive community of women.
“You don’t need to be a great singer to sound good in a group - once everyone starts singing it’s amazing how good it feels and how wonderful it sounds. It’s a fundamental aspect of human expression – it’s a basic human birth right and everyone can sing.”
WomanSong was born out of a small therapeutic singing group at Hawkesbury Women’s Cottage in 2014.
This group, funded through the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse community-based support services, made such a profound impact on the participating women that they were determined to bring singing to the wider community.
WomanSong has existed in its current form for about two years. The group welcomes all women and girls who love to sing - no audition. It fundraises to provide sponsored positions so all women can participate. Any woman on a pension or benefit (or under other forms of financial hardship) is invited to become a sponsored member.
To access the free sponsorship, to become a sponsor or make an enquiry, contact Suze Pratten on email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit womansong.com.au