We have previously said that singing makes you happy, due to the release of endorphins that are associated with feelings of pleasure, whilst oxytocin reduces feelings of stress and anxiety. This pleasurable feeling may also be due to the musical vibrations that flow through your body when you sing in a choir, leading to a feeling of group harmony.
Whilst there are no clear figures on the number of choirs in Australia, the Australian National Choral Association claims to have around 1000 members with choirs all over Australia. So why do people enjoy singing so much and what does singing do to your brain?
What does science say about singing?
We know that endorphins make us feel happy and oxytocin reduces stress, both of which are released when we sing. Oxytocin also increases a feeling of trust, which might explain why choral singers feel less lonely and depressed. There are also thoughts that the pleasure felt when singing in a choir is an evolutionary reward for coming together as a group, rather than remaining solitary.
Cortisol has also been shown to be lower in choral singers, leading to a reduction in stress and our heart rates may also beat in time with other singers, explaining why singing can often feel like meditation. Research has also shown that the quality of life for older choral singers is significantly higher than those who do not sing in a choir, promoting psychological well-being and satisfaction with their physical health.
Even if you aren’t an elite or professional singer, research has shown that you can benefit greatly from group singing, but you shouldn’t underestimate the quality of your voice! Most people can be trained to sing better and we are happy for anyone and everyone to audition for our choir.
The more the merrier and if the research is right – the more people in our choir, the happier we’ll all be in our lives!