If you’re wondering why we’ve changed our name, it’s because with our old website name, harmonybyear.com, people kept saying “Harmony Bear.” They just couldn’t see “Harmony By Ear.” So we finally gave up on the image of singing wildlife, and created a new name that people can read more easily.
According to an article in SF Gate, seniors who sing in choirs and community choruses had better health and quality of life than those in a comparison group. Read more They reported fewer doctor visits, fewer falls, less medication use and less loneliness, and higher overall ratings of physical health. Research on this is being done by Dr. Julene K. Johnson, cognitive neuroscientist, at University of California, San Francisco. In another article published by AARP Washinton, Dr. Johnson said that choral singing allows people to “use their bodies and minds while creating something beautiful.”
Here’s a great beginning harmony-singing practice exercise that you can do at home, even when you don’t someone else to sing with. You will need an instrument that can play chords, like a guitar, mandolin, keyboard, banjo, etc. Or you can listen to major chords on the guitar here. Links to several mp3 files, which I will send (or upload if Carol shows me how.)
- Play any major chord on your instrument. On the guitar, some easy ones are G, C, D, E and A.
- Sing the three notes of this chord, going up the chord.
- Now play a different chord, and sing the three notes of this NEW chord.
- Do this with as many chords as you can play.
- Then go through all the chords again. This time, try to find the three notes as quickly as you can.
- The goal is to see how fast you can nail the three chord notes. Ideally we want to get our ear and our voice trained so that we can hear ANY major chord, and immediately sing its three chord notes.