Saturday, December 8, 2007

Choral Singing Beneficial for Body and Soul

Cheryl McLean

It's been reported in research that choral singing is beneficial for both body and soul.

In one study, a health educator and music professor teamed up for a study published in England’s Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health, in which they reported choral singing promoted not just physical health, but offered emotional and spiritual benefits as well. Using their own choir as a basis for their study, Dr. Stephen Clift and Grenville Hancox developed questionnaires to document physical and emotional feelings while singing. Singers reported improved lung capacity, high energy, relieved asthma, better posture, and enhanced feelings of relaxation, mood, and confidence. In a follow-up questionnaire, 89 percent of the singers reported intense happiness while singing, 79 percent felt less stressed, and 75 percent experienced heightened adrenaline and wakefulness.

From Chorus America

Music today is playing an increasingly important role in many professional education programs. Dalhousie University Medical School, for example, has several performing choirs and choral groups.

Excerpt below from the website at

"medical students, physicians, professors, alumni and friends of the medical school are united by a common love of music and a desire to make our medical lives a little more rewarding, our grand adventure in life-long learning a little lighter, and the community in which we live, work and study a little better for our efforts. ....up to 25% of medical students in the first three years of their undergraduate medical training are registered in one of these performance groups. In addition, we have members who work in the fields of medical education, endocrinology, general surgery, paediatrics, orthopaedics, obstetrics and gynaecology, emergency medicine, biochemistry, ENT, pathology, family medicine, and laboratory sciences."

It's not surprising that more medical schools and schools of business are incorporating music into their professional programs. Choral singing is a highly disciplined and creative team activity. Harmonizing with others in community fills the heart with a renewed sense of promise and optimism. In the rehearsal hall every voice offers something invaluable to the whole. Simply put, singing is good for the soul.

P.S. I know of what I speak. It had been a very busy year at the office here and we had experienced a major move. With deadlines looming and changes underway I was feeling I needed a positive outlet for my "nervous" energy. I joined The Canadian Celtic Choir this September.


"If I cannot fly,
Let me sing. "

STEPHEN SONDHEIM from "Sweeney Todd"

Other related posts: "Jazz Brings Creativity to Business"

Music, Medicine and Arts/video

Front row seats at Youtube