Friday, February 19, 2010

Choir Singing

Benefits of singing in a choir:

* Breathing exercises.
* Balance awareness - standing on both feet.
* Cognitive aspect of reading music.
* Facial movements involved in singing mimic those of positive mood states and can increase mood.
* Reading lyrics without singing as a rhythm exercise.
* Singing in a group increases social activity and it can be fun to sing live harmonies on a large scale. Most likely, the group will be a supportive and encouraging crowd.
* Challenging – musical range, length of breath…
* Rewarding when the music all comes together and you can listen to, and be a contributing part of, the harmony.
* Performance adds a new dimension to the interaction with the music and the additional pleasure of sharing the music with others.

Overall, singing in a choir increases awareness of self, others, and the relationship between the two.

This study showed that singing in a choir can improve mood and reduce stress hormone levels.

Another study examined the difference between singing and listening to music and found that active singing was required in order to see beneficial results.

If you are not an expert singer, churches will usually accept singers, regardless of faith. Other non-audition choirs can be found with a little searching of community centres.

A quote from ‘The Elegance of the Hedgehog’ regarding choirs:
“Every time, it’s a miracle. Here are all these people, full of heartache or hatred or desire, and we all have our troubles and the school year is filled with vulgarity and triviality and consequence, and there are all these teachers and kids of every shape and size, and there’s this life we’re struggling through full of shouting and tears and laughter and fights and break-ups and dashed hopes and unexpected luck-it all disappears, just like that, when the choir begins to sing. Everyday life vanishes into song, you are suddenly overcome with a feeling of brotherhood, of deep solidarity, even love, and it diffuses the ugliness of everyday life into a spirit of perfect communion.”

Other fun, group singing exercises include getting a few friends together to sing along to the Buffy musical or Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.

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