Everybody’s saying it: Choral singing is good for you! Just google “choral singing” and you’ll get tons of references for how singing with a group boosts mental health, boosts mindfulness, and is just an all around good thing.
I saw an interesting segment on “Face the Nation” recently, an interview with author Daniel Pink, whose book When (“The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing”) focuses on the physicality of creativity and how to maximize our bodies’ natural rhythms to be more effective and happy. He discusses exercise and how crucial it is to take regular breaks incorporating a walk or other movement.
He also talks about teamwork and how powerful synchronizing and coordinating with other people can be. “There’s a new exercise out there, and it’s choral singing! Choral singing has benefits that are just extraordinary, at the physiological level and the psychological level. It is useful for cancer patients, it improves your immune response, it boosts your mood; so there’s something about synchronizing with other people that makes us feel good.”
Pink goes on to say that in children the effect of teamwork and particularly singing is even more dramatic: “I think there’s some good evidence that in schools, that choir (and) choral groups, not only as an ancillary activity, but as something that actually boosts the moods of kids, improves their social and emotional learning, and could conceivably make them better citizens of the school.” And I would add, of the world!
(the choral part is at about 4:30, but the interview is short and the whole thing is terrific.)