15 de maio de 2017
The Neuroscience of Singing
The science is in. Singing is really, really good for you and the most recent research suggests that group singing is the most exhilarating and transformative of all.
The good feelings we get from singing in a group are a kind of evolutionary reward for coming together cooperatively.
The research suggests that creating music together evolved as a tool of social living. Groups and tribes sang and danced together to build loyalty, transmit vital information and ward off enemies.
Science Supports Singing
What has not been understood until recently is that singing in groups triggers the communal release of serotonin and oxytocin, the bonding hormone, and even synchronises our heart beats.
Group singing literally incentivised community over an “each cave dweller for themselves” approach. Those who sang together were strongly bonded and survived.
In her book Imperfect Harmony: Finding Happiness Singing with Others, Stacy Horn calls singing:
Singing Makes You Happy
For a decade, science has been hard at work trying to explain why singing has such a calming yet energising effect on people. Numerous studies demonstrate that singing releases endorphins and oxytocin – which in turn relieve anxiety and stress and which are linked to feelings of trust and bonding.
Singing helps people with depression and reduces feelings of loneliness, leaving people feeling relaxed, happy and connected. What’s more, the benefits of singing regularly are cumulative. People who sing have reduced levels of cortisol, indicating lower stress.
UK singer, singing teacher and choir leader Sophia Efthimiou describes singing as a process of consciously controlling our breath and larynx to create and sustain certain pitches and we blend that with rhythm and poetry to create songs.
In a group setting, each group member feels the musical vibrations moving through their body simultaneously. Our heart beats become synchronised. Sophia explains:
Anybody Can Sing
One of the great things about singing is that you can receive the wellbeing benefits even if you aren’t any good. One study showed that:
Tania de Jong, singer and founder of Creativity Australia, has effectively harnessed this ability of group singing to lift every member of the group up, no matter their singing ability.