Singing is one of the most effective ways to increase blood flow and oxygen in your bloodstream, much like a good workout. Study after study has shown that singing helps with everything from increased lung capacity to reduced heart disease, boosting immunity and even a longer life span. In fact, it is believed that singing in a choir may be just as good for your health as going to yoga classes.
When we sing together in a safe and supportive environment, it builds confidence and self-esteem that we take into our daily lives. Many of us were told at some point that we can’t sing, or are not good enough to sing. In fact, a recent study shows that 85% of people believe they can’t sing. This is simply not true! When we come together to sing and learn new songs, we increase confidence in our voice and our ability to use it in our daily lives.
Group singing is one of the most ancient and original “technologies of belonging” that humans have been using since the earliest times. Singing together is a powerful way to connect with others, and a great way to reduce the negative effects of loneliness and isolation that are often found in big city environments. Research has shown that this sense of connection happens on a biological level – that when people sing together in a group, their heartbeats actually sync up.
Study after study has shown that group singing reduces stress and anxiety, and contributes to overall mental and emotional health and wellbeing. The act of singing releases endorphins (hormones that make you feel happy) and oxytocin (a hormone which lowers stress and creates bonding). Singing is even recommended for people with dementia, as a way of accessing memory and joy when speech is not always available.
Singing together is a fabulous way of building community, of restoring our web of connection in a fragmented world. When we come together each week for the shared purpose of singing and making new friends through song, we build bridges of acceptance, compassion, and joy. Regardless of musical background, we can all join our voices in song to create a more harmonious and thriving world.