All posts by April

8 Surprising Benefits of Singing

Here’s some fun benefits to share with friends who may be nervous to join a choir.

Once you know about all the advantages, how can you resist the opportunity to make music AND help improve your health?

Singing regularly…

…keeps you looking young.

As you sing you make facial expressions that help improve muscle tone throughout your face and neck.

So yes, in a way, singing regularly is like giving yourself a face lift!

…stops you from snoring.

It’s true! Singing tightens those larynx muscles and improves your sleep. You can use this as a reason to make sure your spouse never lets you miss a rehearsal! (Or as a recruiting reason if your partner snores!) 💤

…detoxifies your body.

When you sing, your voice shakes your body to its very core. This has a cleansing affect at a molecular level. Don’t believe me? Check out this interesting article all about it. 

…is a great way to meditate.

Singing focuses your brain, calms the mental chatter that we all experience, and allows us to escape from the worries and stresses of life. What better way to meditate than to sing your favorite calming song as a sort of a lullaby to yourself? I’ve even created a few custom ones you can check out here. 

…increases your metabolism.

Singing makes you skinny. There, I said it. Between the detoxification, endorphins released, and thyroid stimulation how can you NOT shed some pounds in the process? In fact, I think that calls for a celebratory piece of candy from my secret stash! 😉

…helps your hearing.

When singing with a group you learn to take in the voices around you and to hear nuances and harmonies you never noticed before. Which is bound to help when you are trying to figure out what your friends are whispering about across the room….right?

…has similar benefits to exercise.

Do you feel exhausted after a particularly long rehearsal? It’s because of all the physical work you do to sing properly! Breathing correctly works out those elusive ab muscles and it also increases your aerobic capacity because of all the oxygen exchanged and improves circulation.

…strengthens your immune system.

A choir rehearsal can actually help you fight off that cold you feel coming on. Studies have shown that choir members have increased immune system function after rehearsal than members who just sat and listened to music. Isn’t that amazing?


April Ebeling is passionate about making music and helping others to do the same. She helps altos around the world develop confidence in their singing through online courses, support groups, and articles like these. April started her professional singing career as lead vocalist with Navy Band New Orleans and holds several degrees in music. For more information on her music, visit AprilSingsalot.com.

Three things your choir director wished you knew:

1. When you don’t sing out we have no idea if you know your part.

We would rather hear you and have to ask you to sing softer than not hear you and wonder if you are even singing. Trust me, strong and wrong is always better in rehearsal settings!

2. We want to know when you have questions or need another run through of your part.

Feel guilty about holding up rehearsal? Believe me, if you are not getting the part it is highly likely you are not the only one. If another run through is not possible, please stay late to get the help you need. We would much rather help you learn the part than for you to go home feeling lost and not want to return.

3. Sometimes we have a hard time singing that alto line too!

As a director I try to sing along with the alto line because I want to help the section hear their part and also because it is a challenge for me as well. Whenever I have trouble finding a starting pitch or hearing a particular interval I admire how well you all pick it up!


April Ebeling is passionate about making music and helping others to do the same. She helps altos around the world develop confidence in their singing through online courses, support groups, and articles like these. April started her professional singing career as lead vocalist with Navy Band New Orleans and holds several degrees in music. For more information on her music, visit AprilSingsalot.com.

Top 11 Things No-one tells You Singing Alto in Choir

Frustrations & How to Overcome Them!

1.You are never singing the melody but

2. You are always tempted to sing the melody

3. Because the sopranos are too loud which makes

4. it difficult to find your part  (get help here!)

and when you do

5. No one can hear it because

6. There are never enough altos so you

7. Sing louder which ends up causing you to

8. Crack on the high notes and then you

9. Get lost in the music (solution here!)

10. Plus, there is never a solo alto part and

11. Worst of all, your part is either the same note measure after measure after blasted measure, or every accidental and weird interval jump in the book.

Any of this sound familiar? Wanna solve these frustrations? Good! Let’s dive in:


🎼 1. You are never singing the melody.

Get really solid on the alto part and then allow yourself to listen to how the harmony part fits with the melody line. It may benefit you to stop singing and just listen to the choir around you to better understand how your part fits. Our ear naturally hears the melody line so instead of trying to tune it out, listen to how the alto line fits with the melody.

🎼 2. You are always tempted to sing the melody.

This is especially true in songs where you sing the melody line with the sopranos for the first verse and then later divide into the harmony part. You have to remember when it’s ok to sing the melody and when it’s not. Sometimes just writing yourself a simple note (no pun intended) like “melody” or “harmony” will help you remember.

🎼 3. The sopranos are too loud.

If it is hard for you to carry the alto line while sitting next to people that are singing melody seriously consider moving to a more central part of the alto section. If that is not an option look to see if your alto note is also in the piano part and listen to the accompaniment for help. Don’t know how to read music? This music guide is a great start!  

🎼 4. It is difficult to find your part.

Find places in the music where the alto line and soprano line share a common note. That way if you get lost (and it happens to everyone at some point) you can catch the part again when it intersects with the soprano line. Use those places as jumping off points to reset your singing when it gets off track. This one page music guide for your choir folder has the note names for easy reference.

🎼 5. No one can hear the altos.

Take a deep breath, stand up straight, and hold your head high. Even if you are lacking confidence in the notes a “strong and wrong” approach (in rehearsals!) is recommended by every choir director I know. If you are holding music or a choir folder make sure that your mouth is above the folder, otherwise you are just giving a private concert for yourself and it won’t go anywhere else! For more on this, check out what your choir director wished you knew.

🎼 6. There are never enough of you.

So true! If you are having fun in choir (and I hope you are!) then consider inviting friends to join you. Ask about opportunities when the choir can have a social and bring other prospective members in or even an open rehearsal where anyone can come. Christmastime is a good opportunity to recruit because singing carols is something many people enjoy!

🎼 7. Sing louder.

It is sometimes cathartic to sing loud and blast your part into the ears of the people around you. But if you are doing that at the expense of your voice (if you are hoarse the next day) then please stop and consult a vocal professional. Music is a realm where the old adage “no pain, no gain” is absolutely NOT TRUE. Throat pain is ALWAYS an indication to stop. Listen to your body and take good care of your instrument. 

🎼 8. Crack on the high notes.

See #7 and also make sure that you are warming your voice up to and above the highest note you will need to sing. While it is smart to save your voice and not overtax it by singing high notes over and over, warming up is a necessity to ensure you will be solid on the notes when performance time comes!  Read more here on vocal recovery.

🎼 9. Get lost in the music.

This is especially a problem while sight-reading a new piece. The codas, repeat signs, and second endings can be really tricky. If at all possible, look through the entire piece before beginning and mark any points where you will need to return to a chorus or skip forward to a coda. If you need a refresher on what all of those signs look like and mean I have created a reference sheet for the front of your choir folder that you can get here. It comes in handy for reading notes too!

🎼 10. Never a solo alto part.

This is a common complaint among the lower voice parts. While it is easiest to give the sopranos a solo (they often have the melody anyway) here are two creative solutions to getting solos as an alto. The first is to try taking the solo down an octave. If you can comfortably sing it in that range, audition for the solo. The second is to audition for a tenor solo. The alto voice is often in a similar range and it can be very effective to spread the solo love among all of the sections.

🎼 11. Your part is either the same note or all accidentals and weird interval jumps.

Yup. Be ready, life is always interesting in the alto section!

Above all, enjoy the camaraderie of choir. There is truly nothing else like it!


April Ebeling loves connecting people through shared singing experiences. Whether it’s the national anthem at a football game or familiar hymns at a funeral, music can be a uniting force for good! She helps altos around the world develop confidence in their singing through online courses, support groups, and articles like these. April started her professional singing career as lead vocalist with Navy Band New Orleans and holds several degrees in music. For more information on her, visit AprilSingsalot.com.