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Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Power of Singing

It seems like a no-brainer.
Singing in groups, or choirs, is proven to have a magical effect on everyone.
Care homes have found that even quite badly affected sufferers of Alzheimer's and dementia still remember favourite songs from their youth. The Alzheimer's Society offers a service called "Singing for the brain." New research this week showed that Parkinson's Disease patients also benefited from song. Singing can help stroke victims regain the power of speech. It can help people overcome depression, and lose weight.

And of course, the inspirational Gareth Malone and the latest "The Choir" TV programme, where he brought together military wives to form a choir, is a great example of how singing brought together a lonely and isolated group of people. The spectacular results were seen when the Military Wives' Choir performed at the Royal British Legion's Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall.

So if it's such a no-brainer that singing really helps, why is it marginalised in schools, disappearing from university courses and largely disregarded by the NHS?
Further reading
What is singing for the brain? By the Alzheimer's Society
How singing may help stroke victims
Music healing for depression
Health choirs: let's have singing on rescription, from The Daily Telegraph
In praise of Gareth Malone: from The Guardian

5 comments:

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Gail, I so agree. I don't sing particularly well, but I enjoy it. So many valuable programs are being cut by the schools, it's really sad. They usually seem to have the money for things I consider less important! Of course, being a "foodie," I'm concerned too about things like low quality food and fast food in the schools.

Anne @ The Frump Factor said...

So, so true. I sing in a chorus, and it's such a mood boost! I think it also works both sides of the brain, or something. Reading music and singing definitely forces you to concentrate, working the brain hard, but it's fun so you'll actually do it!

Maggie May said...

I go singing twice a week. Nothing like a good sing in a group of like minded people. I think it does something to the brain much the same as chocolate does..... without the risk of getting fat!
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Maddie Grigg said...

Gail, there is an award for you over at my place.

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