February 2012 | Vocal Bliss

February 2012

Singing Is Good For You!

According to an article in Medical Hypotheses, “Vibration of the human skull, as produced by loud vocalization, exerts a massaging effect on the brain and facilitates expulsion of metabolic products into the cerebrospinal fluid, leading neurophysicists to hypothesize that vocal vibrations cause a kind of cleaning of the chemical cobwebs out of the head. A process as simple as singing might well make the removal of chemical waste from the brain more efficient.

And according to a recent study by the University of California, Irvine, singing in a choir just might make you healthier. This study, authored by Robert Beck and Thomas Cesario and published in Music Perception, found that Immunoglobulin A, a protein used by the immune system to fight disease, increased 150 percent during rehearsals and 240 percent during performance.

There certainly is a sense of euphoria that choral singers experience after a particularly inspiring rehearsal or performance. But part of that sensation is due to more than just individual physiology; it derives from the cooperative effort that is at the heart of the choral endeavor. The late great conductor Robert Shaw thought of a chorus as a “community of expression,” whose meaning “rests upon a common devotion to the composer’s utterance and a mutual respect for the personal dignity of fellow-workers.” Shaw’s associate, Ann Howard Jones enlarged on this idea. Noting that in a chorus the whole is far greater than the sum of its parts, she wrote, “I know of no other activity where access to the most profound artistic works can be made possible and satisfying for the participant who has limited skills as an individual but whose capacity is enlarged by the group.”

I found this interesting article on this website.

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