Singing Makes Us Live Longer
It is obvious that singing adds life to our years. Research also suggests that singing adds years to our life.
A joint study with Yale and Harvard in 2008 revealed that choral singing can increase general life expectancy. The study focused on the town of New Haven, Connecticut, where an unusually high percentage of the population sings in choirs. Positive impacts of choral singing on both cardiovascular health and mental health were shown to increase life expectancy of these choral musicians. This ended up boosting the overall life expectancy of the town.
This double-whammy of singing’s physical and mental health benefits has been reported widely by medical practitioners. It explains why singing has been used as a holistic means of healing across cultures and throughout history. Singing works the body, mind and spirit simultaneously, increasing positive relationships between people, communities, and oneself.
Beyond living longer, singing can also boost one’s “appearance” of youth, according to a study published in the UK’s Telegraph. Because singing involves every muscle group, it can boost oxygen levels in the blood and exercise facial muscles, “helping to maintain youthful good looks.” It seems there are no shortage of studies singing the benefits of this very ancient, human activity!
The take-away? Singing is good for us. It is good for our communities. It boosts stats of life expectancy. And it does this by exercising our whole person – body, mind and spirit.
Sarah Pearson is a music therapist working in oncology and palliative care in Kitchener, ON . She is the Program Development Coordinator for the Room 217 Foundation and Lead Facilitator of the Music Care Certificate Program.