Raise your voice: why is singing so powerful?

From a parent serenading their child to sleep, to a life-changing concert from your favourite band - we've all had moments when singing has cut to our core. This week, DNTO takes a look at the power of singing.

DNTO Oct. 11 / 21

Originally aired October 11, 2014

From a parent serenading their child to sleep, to a life-changing concert from your favourite band - we've all had moments when singing has cut to our core. But why does the human voice have such a grip on us? And what happens when a song becomes more than just words and music? 

This week, DNTO takes a look at the power of singing. 
What does it take to get a stranger to sing with you? Sook-Yin hits the streets and discovers that harmony can be hard to find. 

Tim Falconer isn't just a bad singer - he's been diagnosed as tone deaf or "amusic". But he loves singing anyway! And with the odds stacked against him, Tim is determined to not just sing, but to become a good singer.

Lorie Mayer grew up in huge Mennonite family - she's the youngest of ten siblings! But there was one thing that always quieted things down and cut through the noise: when her dad would sing the kids to sleep. We catch up with Lorie and her now 100-year-old dad, Dan Koop, to find out what keeps them singing.

Simone Osborne is one of the stars of the Canadian Opera Company - so why on earth did Sook-Yin find singing on the streets of Toronto? She reveals how she went from a BC kid busking on a busy street corner to a lead soprano superstar.

Back during the Quebec referendum of 1995, times were tense, and many Quebeckers didn't feel motivated to sing O Canada. Then-finance minister Paul Martin will tell us what he did at a Canada Day ceremony to convince them to stand up and belt it out.

Have you ever been challenged to sing on the spot? That happened to Rachel Sanders, by a crowd of drunken businessmen at a sushi bar in Japan. She'll regale us with her unexpected Japanese Idol moment.

Imagine a little love song, about love and hope. "Is it even a possibility" that a song can have such far reaching impact, both for the singer and the listener? Sierra Noble knows first hand the power of a song. (Photo Courtesy: Kelly Morton)

Christine Lippa and her father loved to sing together, but after her father was killed, Christine didn't sing for 10 years... until she had to sing to save her career.

Choirs produce such beautiful music - don't they? That's what William Burr thought, until he joined a gay men's choir in Regina. We'll get the scoop on why his Queen City Pride performance wasn't one for the choral history books.

Did you know singing can help make you smarter? University of Toronto neuroscientist Sylvain Moreno explains how carrying a tune can help your brain function better - and how a serious motorcycle crash inspired him to research the connection between our minds and music.Find his singing exercises and latest findings here

For 11 years Maggie Moose was bounced from foster home to foster home. The only constant in her life was singing - and she loved to sing! So when her foster sister bullied her into silence, it took all of Maggie's bravery to get her voice back. See the music video for Maggie's song 'Finding Love' here.
This week's playlist:
The Wilderness of Manitoba - Leave Someone
BBC Concert Orchestra - God Only Knows
Arcade Fire - Wake Up
Del Barber - Big Smoke
Sierra Noble - Possibility
Frank Sinatra - Fly Me To The Moon
The Beatles - Yesterday
Choir! Choir! Choir! - Coax Me (Feat. Sloan)
Tokyo Police Club - Favourite Colour
Maggie Moose - Finding Love


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