The Benefits of Singing in a Choir: Achievements, Positivity, and Social Connections

Wesley Roberson, center, rehearses with members of the Washington Chorus at the National Presbyterian Church in D.C. on May 8. 

Stanley Thurston conducts the Heritage Signature Chorale and the Cathedral Choral Society during a rehearsal in D.C. Singing groups support the “total growth of the human being,” Thurston says

In addition to the physical benefits, singing in a choir can also have social and emotional benefits. It provides a sense of community and belonging, and can help reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. For cancer patients and survivors, singing in a choir can also provide a sense of empowerment and control over their bodies, which may feel out of their control during treatment.

While singing in a choir may not be a cure for cancer or other illnesses, it can be a valuable tool in improving overall health and well-being. And for those like Hazel Hardy, it can provide a much-needed escape from the outside world and a new kind of family to lean on.

Washington Chorus members rehearse Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at the National Presbyterian Church in D.C

Stanley Thurston, the founder and artistic director of the Heritage Signature Chorale in Washington D.C., believes that singing groups like choirs support the overall growth of individuals. While many choirs in the U.S. are affiliated with churches, there are also community-based choirs like Heritage.

Eugene Rogers, artistic director of the Washington Chorus, leads a rehearsal of Beethoven’s Ninth at the National Presbyterian Church. When you attach singing to an anniversary or a memory of others, it gives meaning and comfort, Rogers says. 

Thurston describes choirs as large families that promote social bonding, belonging, and joy. Research has shown that group singing fosters trust, cooperation, and social cohesion.

However, during the pandemic, choirs and singing have been linked to the spread of the coronavirus. While some studies have questioned this association, many choirs have scaled back COVID protocols like requiring masks at rehearsals. Some ensembles have even switched to virtual rehearsals to keep everyone healthy.

According to Liza W. Beth, the vice president of communications and membership for Chorus America, choir singing has not fully regained its pre-pandemic popularity in the U.S. In 2019, approximately 54 million Americans sang in choirs. Singers were found to be more optimistic, more likely to vote, less lonely, had stronger relationships, and contributed positively to their communities compared to non-singers.

Washington Chorus members arrive to rehearse at the National Presbyterian Church in May. In fall 2022, the ensemble saw the highest participation by singers in its history

Creating music through singing in a choir can be a source of achievement and positivity, according to choir members. Singing in a group also has social benefits that enhance the positive effects of singing, such as building meaningful relationships. Even those who think they cannot sing can still benefit from singing and receive its physiological benefits. For people with long covid, singing lullabies can help retrain their breathing patterns and soothe anxiety. Singing has also been found to have numerous health benefits for older adults, including better cognitive function and social connections. For some, singing in a choir is more than just a shared activity; it can be a source of comfort and meaning, especially when attached to an anniversary or memory of others

طلحة عبد الكريم
By : طلحة عبد الكريم
مدير و محرر مدونة الموقع التقني.