I love to sing! I might not be the best, and I prefer to sing when no one is listening (usually in the car or shower), but I do love to sing! A friend of mine, who recently joined the local ‘Rock Choir’ absolutely loves it! She says it’s such a stress relief for her and the team spirit which it fosters is just wonderful. And so, I ventured off to a local choir group to experience it for myself and wow… it was brilliant.
At first, I really didn’t know what I was doing, I don’t read music so was worried that I’d be out of tune, but by the end of my first session, when we all came together having practised our separate parts the sound we made collectively was angelic. Truly inspiring.
So how can we take this experience and translate into the world of work?
Well, often when companies think about team building activities they think of building things or charging around the countryside and undertaking physical activities. However, tapping into the sound of everyone’s voice can be incredibly powerful, uplifting and create a real sense of team particularly when everyone is harmonising together.
If you’ve ever watched any of The Choir TV programmes with choirmaster Gareth Malone, you’ll have seen the ups and downs and ultimate triumph of challenging people who don’t normally perform together. The obvious benefits of singing are both mental and physical and include improved communication and confidence as well as a sense of happiness and achievement.
The University of Oxford published some research that revealed group singing not only helps forge social bonds but is also a very quick and effective way for bonding larger groups:
Physiological Benefits of Singing
The physiological benefits of singing, and music are that they exercise the brain as well as the body, singing is particularly beneficial for improving body posture, breathing and relieving muscle tension.
Singing Improves the Memory
People that sing regularly report that learning new songs is cognitively stimulating and helps their memory. That is why you will see singing used as a therapy in many care homes and clubs as it has been shown that singing can help those suffering from dementia
Pain and the Immune System and Singing
According to the University of Oxford ‘Listening to and participating in music has been shown to be effective in pain relief, too, probably due to the release of neurochemicals such as β-endorphin (a natural painkiller responsible for the “high” experienced after intense exercise).
There’s also some evidence to suggest that music can play a role in sustaining a healthy immune system, by reducing the stress hormone cortisol and boosting the Immunoglobin A antibody.’
Why Singing is good for Health and Happiness
Increasing evidence suggests that social connections can play a vital role in maintaining our health and mental well-being decreasing the feeling of isolation and loneliness and increasing the sense of belonging and social closeness to others. So by expanding your social network through singing will also improve your health.
Research has also found, for that people feel more positive after actively singing and that this improved mood probably comes directly from the release of positive endorphins.
Get Involved in Singing
Sounds like a perfect hobby! But if you haven’t got Gareth coming to your workplace any time soon or a budding choirmaster to start a choir at work then Rock Choir is a nationwide organisation which offers an alternative experience to the traditional classical or community choir.
They have fun, weekly rehearsals using well-known hit songs with some original vocal arrangements giving songs a unique style. They also support hundreds of local communities and raise money for charities through performances and events up and down the country. You can find your nearest choir and try a free taster via the website. Another alternative is The Big Sing.
Singing is such an inclusive and cost-effective means of bring work colleagues or a community together and could definitely ring the right note when it comes to improving your social life, health and well-being.