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Health Benefits of Singing
There has been some research published recently in scientific journals about the health benefits of group singing. The research was done in England. It found:
*Enhancement of positive immune factors. Research documented a 150% increase in the protective secretary immunoglobulin A during rehearsals and a 240% increase during performance.
*Improved lung function, breathing awareness, and memory training - all skills needed for singing, but beneficial to all aspects of physical and mental health.
*Spiritual uplift and enhancement of psychological well-being, leading to a substantial reduction in the stress hormones. One study reported a 30% reduction in cortisol level during rehearsals and a 37% reduction during performance.
*Neurological changes have been documented in groups of singers working together. Two amazing videos (when you have time) are this clip from singer Bobby McFerrin's World Science Festival panel and a longer clip about how singing together improves health.
*Enhanced social interaction promoting "togetherness" based on a common experience, especially if the choir is an inclusive, community-based organization. Singers' self-reported group cohesion is even greater than that reported in sports teams.Links:
- "Choir singing boosts immune system activity in cancer patients and carers, study shows" at Science Daily website
- "Singing Changes Your Brain" in Time Magazine
- "Singing is good for you" at HeartResearch.org.uk
- "Singing modulates mood, stress, cortisol, cytokine and neuropeptide activity in cancer patients and carers" (full professional article posted on ecancer.org website