Have you ever lifted your beautiful voice with lots of other beautiful voices in a big beautiful room and felt the power, mojo, excitement and joy that comes with it? if you have, then you can relate with what am about to shae here. If you haven’t, you may want to quickly consider joining a choir. It’s heavenly.
Singing a solo is nothing compared to singing in a choir/chorale. I tell many of my students that singing in a choir is much more complicated than doing a solo. It is equally more exciting and rewarding. Beside the joy, feeling of belonging and excitement that comes with singing in a choir, there are also numerous health benefits of joining and singing in a choir that you would find interesting.
“One hour of group singing lowers stress hormones ”Russell Scott
BENEFITS OF JOINING A CHOIR
I will quickly share my points into three categories – musical benefits, health benefits and other benefits of joining a choir.
Musical Benefits Of Joining A Choir
- Improves Your Music Reading and Sight Singing Skills.
Most choir with the exception of some contemporary gospel groups, use sheet music. The act of reading music while you sing teaches musicianship basics like rhythm and pitch. Such choir would generally help a singer improve their sight reading and singing skills. This would become a valuable skill for a pro musician.
- Develops Your Ears And Harmony Singing Skills
Singing in a choir will help to sharpen a singer’s harmony skills. How? you may ask. Well, in a choir, you would normally have to split into voice parts (soprano, alto, tenor, baritone bass) to create harmony while singing. Singing in voice parts will certainly help to train your ears to hear harmonies; this in turn, will help you become a better singer. In a choir, this you get to practice with the help of a choir director and your fellow
- Strengthens And Keeps Your Voice In Shape/Improve Your Range.
Singing regularly is essential for the overall well being of your voice. It helps to keep your voice in good shape as well as improve]ing the quality of your voice. Generally, a choir will rehearse at least twice a week. Joining a choir is a great way to improve on your voice and range. This can be more fun than practicing alone.
- Improves Your Ability To Blend Vocally.
Choir singing is about creating a unified sound and not about being heard in the crowd. To achieve this, we have to be aware of our own tone quality as well as that our fellow singers. The goal of a choir is to blend with the voices around you as one voice. This is why a good choir director spends time focusing on vocal tone, vowel sounds, blends and the likes. Learning to adjust your tone and volume to blend with others around you is an exercise in careful listening and vocal control.
Health Benefits Of Joining A Choir
- Reduces Stress
The stress relieving benefits of singing in a choir have been widely recognized. Research has shown that group singing increases the oxygen level in the blood and triggers the release of hormone oxytocin, which is associated with happy feelings and stress relief. Oxytocin also enhances feelings of trust and bonding. Singing releases endorphins as well( feel good hormones)
- Boosts Self Esteem And Confidence Level.
Learning something new boosts your confidence and self esteem. Singing in a choir gives you permission to make ‘noise’ as a member of the group and be heard as well. Most people don’t think they would ever perform in front of an audience. This experience gotten from being a member of a choir can be life changing. This and much more can help increase your confidence level.
- Improves Your Mental Health
Studies have shown that the mental health of choir singing includes enhanced brain functions. Learning new songs and making new musical memories is a great investment to your brain’s future. Medical experts have shown that musical memories engages broader neural pathways than any other types of memories.
In addition, doctors are now finding out that singers have more circuit connections between the right and left sides of their brain than non-singers. Memorizing words (left brain function) and music (right brain function), could keep those nerves cells and synapses in excellent working order.
- Enhances Your Immune System
As pointed out earlier, study shows that one hour of group singing can significantly lower the stress hormone Cortisol, and boost a person’s immune system to fight off excess bad bacteria.
- Aerobics And Toning.
Did you know that a proper singing session is a very wonderful workout for the lungs? The actions of warming up and deep breath taking during singing equates to that of aerobics exercises, which increases blood flow and releases endorphins. Singing also improves your posture and tones the stomach muscles.
Other benefits of choir singing are;
- Gives you a sense of belonging and increase social fulfillment. This is aside the fact that being in a choir can also help to build long lasting friendships and relationships.
- Helps you to meet new people with different strengths and vocal abilities that you can learn from.
- Provides a new captive audience for your upcoming gig or concert.
- Increases your repertoire list.
- Adds to your income (if it’s a paid choir) .
Group singing creates a true escape from the real world. I have seen how singing as a choir has helped many people in their struggles, including work stress and relationships issues.
So if you are a singer at the very beginning of your journey or you’re in the development trail, find a choir that you can be involved in today (one that sings the type of music you enjoy of course). The benefits of joining are choir are endless.