To many, the idea of joining a choir may seem like a middle-aged activity that represents conformity – this stereotype could not be further from the truth however, and science is now backing this up.
Scientists from Sweden have revealed what those who sing in a choir already know – singing helps you breathe better. Some reports are even suggesting that singing could be the new yoga.
Heart Research UK have said that singing is a “great aerobic exercise; giving both your heart and lungs a fantastic workout”, and even launched a campaign called Sing For Your Heart. A further study into the benefit of singing concluded that the NHS need to provide more options when it comes to community singing as there is so much evidence that it keeps people healthier.
There are multiple choirs out there dedicated to rehabilitation, including Sing For Joy (a choir for people with Parkinson’s). Another project, called The Gathering, allows anyone (singers, musicians or otherwise) to come together and make any noise they like. According to one of its founders, Maggie Nichols, parents of autistic children brought them along as it was one of the few places they could express themselves without getting stared at.
So why are choirs so good for the soul? For one reason, they give you permission to make noise. At almost every stage of our life we are encouraged to be quiet. As noisy children in public places we were shushed by our parents, as teenagers we are told to turn the music down, so by the time we reach adulthood it’s no wonder we find it hard to speak up.
Singing offers us the chance to scream (albeit in tune) and release pent up emotion in a lovely, loud way. Choirs are ideal platforms for expression and you end up with a stunning sounding song at the end of it – what’s not to like?
If you need a little help speaking up for yourself, why not hire a life coach? To find out more, please see our Confidence page.
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