…May the Music bring us joy…
Music is either imbued or imbibed. There are those among us that are saturated with music, or enjoy it in measured doses. Music has always been deeply important to me. For comfort…or for celebration…or for soulful introspection…and sometimes, just for the Heck-of-it!!! But regardless, it has had an integral importance in my life!
I got a late start on my musical journey. I sang when I was a kid…you know that misguided, undirected and totally unharnessed type of singing, that as adults, we “let loose” in the shower…or for the boldest among us…at karaoke. I had a mid-life “personal evaluation” type of retrospect, that allowed me to “imagine the possibilities” when I hit my 30’s.
When in MY mind I could “sing-along” with John Denver, B.J.Thomas, Rod Stewart, The Eagles and Bread…well… (I was after all in, “my mind”), I was pretty sure I possessed some latent talent. At 30 I decided to take vocal lessons. I hired a good vocal coach…supportive…intuitive and above all KIND…I embarked on my musical JOURNEY…
I got involved in Community Theatre!!! For the next 40 years, I IMBIBED music, For the next 4 decades, it taught me so much more than sharps and flats, staffs and rests, allegros and crescendos. I learned about community. I have often said I love theatre. As I matured, I learned that my acquired affection had as much to do with the benefits to my well-being, as to the academics of my musicality.
I followed a series of studies that were conducted in England, by a research team on choral singing and psychological well being. The study was fascinating. The study compared the psychological well being of choral singers to those who took part in five other activities: solo singers, band/orchestra members, solo musicians, team sport players and solo sport players. These comparison groups were chosen because they each share (or lack) three key features of choral singing: (a) singing, (b) membership of a social group or team, (c) the production of music.
The study involved around 200 participants, men and women between 18 and 85 years old. In essence, though many of the benefits affected all five of the participating groups, a few of the benefits uniquely affected the choral singers.
There is a growing body of evidence that choral singing might have a significant positive impact on the participants. Of particular note is the positive affect on an individual’s mood, stress reduction and anxiety, the enhancement of subjective well-being and an overall sense of joy and happiness. Though unclear whether these benefits are unique to choral singers, there is an apparent positive relationship between choral singing and well-being.
Identified were six positive effects of choral singing: improved mood, focused attention, deep breathing, social support, cognitive stimulation, and regular commitment. In addition to the psychological benefits other studies have indicated that choral singing may induce positive physiological benefits such as reduced cortisol levels and improved immune response.
In essence the studies indicate that choral singing is GOOD for you…Those of us that are committed to a Choral Group will readily attest to our own personal benefits! Besides our individual sense of achievement, and sense of belonging, we benefit from the social aspect, which involves positive activities with people that enjoy the same things: music, performing, laughing and sharing joyful expression!
If you are thinking about joining a Chorale…Don’t think twice. The North Port Chorale invites you to join us! We are currently in rehearsal for our Holiday production: Home for the Holidays…Sounds of the Season December 9, 2023. Rehearsals will begin the first part of next year for our April production: A Gershwin Rhapsody on April 13, 2024! The opportunity has no age restriction. It encourages you to get out of the house (at least once a week). Many of the people you sing with become an important part of your social circle!
Join us…It will be GOOD for you!