A post by Dr. James Ramsey, PAA Executive Director.
Its no secret that we think singing can be fun. However, research suggests that singing in a choir might be also good for our psychologicalwell-being. A study presented by a masters student, Nick Stewart, from Oxford Brookes in London last month was quite enlightening and affirms what I suspect many of us already believe.
The study asked 375 people who sang in choirs, sang alone or were members of sports teams about their experience of these activities. All three leisure activities yielded high levels of well-being, but the analysis of the results revealed statistically significant higher reported well-being among people who sang with a choir compared to those who sang alone. Choral singers also reported seeing their choirs as more coherent or ‘meaningful’ social groups than the sportsmen and women saw their sports teams.
One could certainly argue that joining a choir is a cost effective way to improve your emotional and psychological health through social interaction. However I would also advance that in addition to social interaction, the choral singer is physically engaged through breath and movement in addition to critical thinking skills as an important part of making music in a choral ensemble.
No matter at what level, singing in a group can make a big difference in your life.