What are the best ways to pass the time during quarantine? Reading? Studying? Chatting with friends over the phone? Well, in addition to these common activities, I have found an interesting platform where I have not only connected with old friends, but also made new ones across the globe — by singing!
Smule is a singing app that enables you to sing with your friends or with people you are meeting virtually for the first time.
The app has something for everyone to enjoy by providing access to songs from numerous genres, ranging from American pop to Italian classical. After you finish your musical masterpiece, the platform can store your creation in a video or audio file format of your choice. You can even download the files and share them with your friends on other social media platforms.
Rather than being just a simple singing app, Smule connects people to others in both their own circles and around the world. I use Smule a lot, especially since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Of course, I love singing. However, what I have personally gained from using Smule goes beyond the pure meaning of singing. Here are some of my personal reflections.
Smule Has No Boundaries
First, I have come to the realization that music is a universal language. Though we may have different backgrounds, experiences and ways that we communicate, the apparent boundaries that separate us immediately melt when we sing a song together. Even if the song we are singing is in a language we haven’t mastered, we simply need to follow the syllables Smule provides on our screens to keep up.
The process is inherently a collaborative effort. Though getting through a song together may seem rather insignificant, this small accomplishment can be the foundation for deeper connections and collaborations in the future.
One of the most effective ways to prevent procrastination is by starting small; it eliminates the anxiety that comes when we are faced with a huge task and puts us in a more productive state of mind, which ultimately motivates us to accomplish even more. A similar principle can be seen on Smule. We collaborate with others on a simple and satisfying task — singing — which can then make us feel more confident and motivated to cooperate with others in the future.
People are inherently social animals. The positive feelings we experience when we connect with others are beneficial to our wellness, both mentally and physically. This is especially important during quarantine because it’s a time when we rarely have opportunities to closely interact with our old friends or meet new people.
It Has Emotional Benefits
Another thought I had while using Smule is that singing is a process involving emotion that can help people articulate their feelings, foster connections with others and cultivate empathy. Through singing, we learn more ways to explore and express our emotional experiences. Songs provide invaluable tools for this process, such as vocabulary, rhetoric and structure.
One of the key components of psychological therapy is providing clients with the means to clarify their thoughts and feelings. Just as medical doctors must determine the symptoms a patient is experiencing before offering treatment suggestions, psychologists need to fully understand the thoughts and feelings their client is struggling with before therapy can progress and healing can begin.
During quarantine, negative emotions can emerge and accumulate; thoughts of loneliness, emptiness, and even feeling meaningless have burdened many of us during these trying times. A song can provide a person with more intricate vocabulary to help articulate those feelings.
Furthermore, singing can help people channel their negative emotions into something and express them in a healthy way. By singing the emotional contents of a song out loud, people can direct their bad feelings into a variety of offerings. For example, by singing Eric Carmen’s song “All By Myself,” a person can pour their negativity out by empathizing with the singer’s lyrics and emotions.
Smule Can Be Inspiring
Third, singing primes us to feel upbeat and enables us to find positive meaning in our lives. In psychology, the term “priming” means to be subconsciously influenced by an external source. A song with meaningful context and imagery will caress our soul by invisibly priming positive vibes into our minds.
By singing songs with strong messages like “All By Myself,” people may further discover the meaning of adversity and purpose. Life is not all about owning everything that we may “toxically” desire; instead, we should try our best to hold ourselves up to the highest level of morality, even in the face of extreme loneliness and misfortune. In this way, singing can give people the inspiration to change their negative mode of thinking.
In the song “Young For You,” one of my favorite lines is, “Weather forecaster says today will be raining hard, but I know the sun will shine for us.” The lyrics not only paint a bright image of sunshine in my mind, but they also remind me to stay positive because even though the weather forecaster says it will rain, the sun may shine for us.
It Has Many Enjoyable Features
Lastly, the diverse features and functions on Smule make the journey more engaging. You can use different filters on the app to fit the theme of the song you’re singing. The app also has a gift exchange option to give users more opportunities to interact with friends and strangers on the platform in a very positive way, which is particularly important in today’s internet world.
On top of that, for professional singers or people who are serious about their singing and musical capabilities, the system will calculate a score for each song they sing based on how technically adept they are at performing a particular melody.
Smule isn’t just an app that combines social media and music functions while tracking your singing process — it’s also a great way to stay connected with others while still staying safe during the pandemic.