SINGING IS HEALING
Hans Guenther Bastian and other researchers from the Institute of Musical Education at Frankfurt University tested the blood of people who sang in a professional choir in the city, before and after a 60 minute rehearsal of Mozart's Requiem. They found that concentrations of immunoglobulin A - proteins in the immune system which function as antibodies - and hydrocortisone, an anti-stress hormone, increased significantly during the rehearsal. When asked a week later to listen to a recording, the composition of their blood did not change significantly.
Barbershop Harmony Society, “Health Benefits of Singing,”accessed February 5, 2018,
"A 1986 study in The American Journal of Nursing compared heart and lung function in 20 opera singers 28 to 65 years old with that of a control group of nonsingers, all under 40. It found that the opera singers had stronger chest-wall muscles and that their hearts pumped better. The singers also maintained a large lung capacity, something that usually declines with age. A 2006 study of four singers focused on the action of the specific muscle groups and body zones involved in operatic singing over three semesters of training. The study measured lung volume and rib cage and abdominal expansion and found results suggesting that the respiratory system is highly responsive to vocal training over even a short period."
Singing improves mood. It's very effective as a stress reliever and improves sleep. Singing releases pain-relieving endorphins. Your posture improves. Lung capacity increases. It clears sinuses and respiratory tubes. It tones your facial and stomach muscles. It boosts your immune system, helping to fight disease and prolong life expectancy. Your confidence increases and mental alertness improves.
Barbershop Harmony Society, “Health Benefits of Singing,”accessed February 5, 2018, http://www.barbershop.org/education/health-benefits-of-singing/
"Choral singing calms the heart and boosts endorphin levels. It improves lung function. It increases pain thresholds and reduces the need for pain medication," Pink claims, citing research published in Evolution and Human Behavior. It also seems to improve your outlook, boosting mood and self-esteem while alleviating feelings of stress and depression.
After demonstrating that 30 minutes of brisk exercise three times a week is just as effective as drug therapy in relieving the symptoms of major depression in the short term, medical center researchers have now shown that continued exercise greatly reduces the chances of the depression returning. Last year, the Duke researchers reported on their study of 156 older patients diagnosed with major depression which, to their surprise, found that after 16 weeks, patients who exercised showed statistically significant and comparable improvement relative to those who took anti-depression medication, or those who took the medication and exercised.
"Because AMMT enhances interactions between the auditory and motor systems, it may represent an effective therapeutic strategy through which individuals with autism can develop their communication skills..."
"An intervention that is specifically designed to help children with autism to develop expressive language is currently being tested (Wan et al., 2009; Wan, Demaine, Zipse, Norton, & Schlaug, 2010). Known as auditory-motor mapping training (AMMT), this intervention involves three main components—singing, motor activity, and imitation—that engage a presumed dysfunctional human mirror neuron system that is believed to underlie some of the communication deficits in autism (Wan et al., 2010). First, singing engages a bilateral fronto-temporal network more prominently than speaking does, and this network contains some components of the mirror neuron system (Brown, Martinez, Hodges, Fox, & Parsons, 2004; Ozdemir et al., 2006)."
A 2002 study from Bailey and Davidson reveals many positive benefits of singing...
"The study consisted of interviewing members of a small choir of homeless men in Montreal. The study found that singing ameliorated depression, enhanced emotional and physical wellness, and instilled a greater sense of self-worth. The group activity provided support in which the men could improve and develop the necessary social skills to achieve group goals as well as redirecting the men's focus from ruminating on self problems."
Bailey, B.A., & Davidson, J.W. (2002). Adaptive characteristics of group singing: Perceptions from members of a choir for homeless men. Musicae Scientiae, 6 (2), 221‐256.
"A study published in the journal Music Perception found that singing can help seniors suffering from certain neurological disorders..."
"Researchers found that singing helped the brain functioning of those struggling from aphasia and Parkinson’s disease. The researchers found that songs influence parts of the brain responsible for emotional regulation.
A study presented at Society for Neuroscience in San Diego found that singing in a group improved thinking, memory and mood in those with dementia. The study group consisted of elderly men and women with various levels of dementia. They were divided into two groups, one group that participated in singing and another that listened. After participating in three music sessions a week for four months, the group that participated scored higher on tests of memory than those who listened. “These data show that participation in an active singing program for an extended period of time can improve cognition in patients with moderate to severe dementia,” the researchers wrote."
"Investigators sought to assess the effectiveness of music therapy on relieving PTSD symptoms. Results showed a positive benefit..."
"The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reports that approximately 22 veterans die by suicide every day. PTSD affects 3.5% of the U.S. adult population—about 7.7 million Americans—but women are more likely to develop the condition than men. About 37% of those cases are classified as severe."
"A study took place from 2010 to 2011 in which 40 Veterans with significant PTSD symptoms took part in. Half of the participants were returning Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. Investigators sought to assess the effectiveness of music therapy on relieving PTSD symptoms. Results showed a positive benefit in relieving PTSD symptoms as a result of the intervention. In addition, findings suggest that the music therapy was effective in reducing depression symptoms and improving health-related quality of life."