You don’t need to be a good singer to enjoy singing. It will get you energized and excited, and smiling if you were in a bad mood. In fact, as this mother discovered, singing is beneficial even when you’re not in the mood for singing.

My older son sings in a choir. He really enjoys the choir practices but he is never thrilled when I tell him it’s time to go. He slowly picks himself up and finds his song book. He is mostly quiet on the way there. But when I pick him up, he is all smiles and full of energy. When I ask him “So, how was it?”, he replies with enthusiasm: “It was the best practice ever!” and then we chat about it on the way home. Via How To Improve Singing

Research shows that there are physical and psychological benefits of singing. Here are some of them:

1. Health benefits

Mans Z
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia

Throughout history, different cultures used music in their healing rituals. Today, music therapy is used to treat all types of conditions from mental illness to breathing conditions.

The physiological benefits of singing, and music more generally, have long been explored. Music making exercises the brain as well as the body, but singing is particularly beneficial for improving breathing, posture and muscle tension. Listening to and participating in music has been shown to be effective in pain relief, too, probably due to the release of neurochemicals such as β-endorphin (a natural painkiller responsible for the “high” experienced after intense exercise).

There’s also some evidence to suggest that music can play a role in sustaining a healthy immune system, by reducing the stress hormone cortisol and boosting the Immunoglobin A antibody. Via The Conversation

Singing is also a form of exercise because it requires controlled breathing. This helps improve your blood circulation and oxygen flow, and even exercises your upper body even while you’re seated.

2. Psychological benefits

woman singing
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Singing has been observed to reduce stress, anxiety, depression and even loneliness. These effects stem from the feel-good hormones that are released while singing that trigger feeling of trust, bonding and pleasure.

The benefits of singing in a choir are many and various. In particular, there are positive physical outcomes and mental health benefits.

These are related to improved cardiovascular fitness (including lung function), as well as improved mood and general alertness, often allied to a feeling of being spiritually uplifted. Because singing involves many different areas of the brain acting in concert, there are often associated cognitive benefits, such as improvements in children’s reading ability that are linked to increased auditory discrimination that supports phonological development. Via Gresham

Interestingly, singing has also been associated with increased intelligence, with studies showing that musicians generally have higher IQs than their non-musical counterparts.

3. Benefits for children

young girl singing
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia

Some of the benefits that children enjoy when they sing include better reasoning and perception, improved reading and math skills as well as improved self-esteem and self-confidence. Additionally, singing has been linked to better memory and ability to pay attention.

Another study found that children who sing improve their overall learning abilities. Children who sing in choirs have significantly better grades than their classmates who did not sing in the choir. Practicing singing helps children improve the way they process sounds, and further helps them focus in the classroom.

Children who are involved in music classes and singing also reported higher satisfaction at school, even in areas that were not related to music class. Via How To Improve Singing

4. Benefits for the elderly

Singing has been found to improve the wellbeing of the elderly, with studies showing that older adults that sing require fewer visits to the doctor. They are also less likely to be depressed.

elderly man singing
Image Courtesy of Public Domain Pictures

Regular choir members report that learning new songs is cognitively stimulating and helps their memory, and it has been shown that singing can help those suffering from dementia, too. Via The Conversation

In a study involving dementia patients who were receiving singing coaching, researchers observed improved mood, orientation and memory among the patients. As a result, facilities offering care for dementia patients are increasingly adopting singing programs for their patients.

And here’s an infographic displaying the very many benefits of singing:

infographic
Infographic Courtesy of How to Improve Singing

Featured Image: Image Credit

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Whether you sing in the bath, with your children or on the football terraces, singing is fun. Thousands of us are joining choirs to give us more opportunities to get that sense of enjoyment.
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It’s as calming as yoga: Experts have said that the calming effect of singing has similar benefits to yoga. When you sing, your body releases endorphins, the happiness hormone; cortisol levels are lowered; and stress-fighting oxytocin increases in the brain. The combination of the three leaves you with that feel-good mood, very similar to what you experience as you float out of yoga class. Via PopSugar