Singing For Health


I truly believe that group singing, when facilitated well, is good for one’s health and well-being. My own health and work over the last 9 years, running community singing groups, has been testament to this belief.

Singing for health

As a Natural Voice Practitioner I love to sing with the everyday person; the person who knows they can sing and also the person who thinks they can’t sing.

I sing regularly with people who have cancer, a heart condition, COPD, depression, dementia or are recovering from a stroke or other such illnesses. I also love to sing with their carers. I sing with people who need a jolly good sing for the sake of it, for the fun of it and the need to breathe in and out with a shared sense of communal purpose. The wonder of group singing is in the coming together of harmony, heartbeat and enjoyment.

Singing to and with each other is one of our most primitive forms of expression, as Mother to baby. There is no society known to man who does not sing as part of their culture, probably because it is so much fun, it is soothing and it is totally natural to do so. We don’t need to read music, play instruments or have had singing training to be able to sing. We need a larynx and at least a bit of hearing.

Singing for health

The Sidney de Haan Centre in conjunction with Canterbury and Christchurch University have been researching an evidence base for advocating group singing on prescription. Their research shows the many beneficial outcomes for individuals when they sing in a group to be:-

- singing encourages deeper breathing, bringing calmness through the regulation of breath and heartbeat. It is a workout for the upper body, exercising the lungs, diaphragm and facial muscles

- socialising; being a part of something, in time & tune with others, an important small part in a bigger picture, a gestalt of the co-operation needed in society

- uplifting moods by shifting focus and attention to something wholly absorbing

- accessing and exercising the memory, creating new neural pathways between brain and body and keeping old pathways as open and usable as possible