Choir Singing and Health: Information Resources

Choir Singing and Health

Information Resources

By Evelyn Cunico, M.A., M.S.

Posted December 23, 2014

Choir singing is generally a volunteer community activity, in which persons have participated for centuries, to enhance spiritual well-being.

Clinical trials are providing evidence that choir singing affects heart rate, blood pressure, and mood.

How does choir singing benefit individual singers? Evidence shows that choir singing promotes physical, social, and emotional health.

Physical Benefits of Choir Singing

  • Choir singing requires a slower than normal respiration, which, in turn, may affect heart rate and decrease blood pressure.
  • Singing regular song structures in unison makes the hearts of the singers accelerate and decelerate simultaneously, sustaining a communal rhythm.
  • A form of guided breathing, choir singing enhances the efficiency of lung function.
  • Choir singing improves the singer’s body posture.

Social Benefits of Choir Singing

  • Choir singing encourages social interactions, including meeting new people.
  • Choir singing teaches persons of all ages and cultures how to work together for a successful choral performance.
  • Younger persons who sing in choirs learn important social skills in a welcoming environment.
  • Choir singing engenders camaraderie, strengthening a sense of community wholeness.

Emotional and Psychological Benefits of Choir Singing

  • Choir singing increases confidence and self-esteem.
  • Choir singing teaches the importance of peer support.
  • Choir singing enhances mood, leading to positive ways of viewing everyday challenges.
  • Choir singing increases motivation, for the singer, for the choir group, and for the listening and engaged audience.

In summary, choir singing is a very positive form of communication. For you, for your choir, and for your listening audience, choir singing can lead to a greater sense of contentment, well-being, and inner peace. Try it and see!

A disclaimer: The information presented in this blog should not replace the medical advice of your doctor. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any disease without first consulting with your medical doctor or other healthcare provider.

References

Clift, S.M. and G. Hancox. “The Perceived Benefits of Singing: Findings from Preliminary Surveys of a University College Choral Society.” The Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health, 121(4):248-56 (December 2001).
(Abstract accessed 14 December 2014)

Muller, V. and U. Lindenberger. “Cardiac and Respiratory Patterns Synchronize Between Persons During Choir Singing.” PLoS One, 6(9):e24893 (2011).
(Abstract accessed 14 December 2014)

Tamplin, J., F.A. Baker, B. Jones, A. Way, and S. Lee. “‘Stroke a Chord’: The Effect of Singing in a Community Choir on Mood and Social Engagement for People Living with Aphasia Following a Stroke.” NeuroRehabilitation, 32(4):929-41 (2013)
(Abstract accessed 14 Decem ber 2014)

 Trappe, H.J. [“Music and Health – What Kind of Music is Helpful for Whom? What Music Not?“] Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift [German Medical Monthly], 134(51-52):2601-6 (2009). [Abstract in English].
(Abstract accessed 14 December 2014)

 Trappe, H.J. [“Johann Sebastian Bach: Life, Oeuvre, and His Significance for the Cardiology”]. Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift [German Medical Monthly]. 139(51-52):2619-25 (2014). [Abstract in English].
(Abstract accessed 14 December 2014).

 Vickhoff, B., H. Malmgren, R. Astrom, G. Nyberg, S.R. Ekstrom, M. Engwall, J. Snygg, M. Nilsson, and R. Jornsten. “Music Structure Determines Heart Rate Variability of Singers.” Frontiers in Psychology, 4:334 (July 09, 2013).
(Abstract accessed 14 December 2014)

 

 

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