If you have ever come to a rehearsal feeling exhausted and grumpy only to find yourself feeling happy and refreshed afterwards you won’t be surprised to find that there are benefits to singing in a choir.
1. It has been proven that there are psychological and physical benefits to participating in a choir. It improves mood and alertness and reduces stress levels and depression.
2. There are emotional, social and cognitive benefits. Choir provides a sense of belonging, a feeling of social inclusion and a positive sense of community. Here in Cantala, a common theme for our new choiristers is that they have just arrived in Toronto for a new school or work opportunity and don’t know anyone, but are seeking a community of like-minded people that share their love of choral music.
3. Choir brings people together. This seems obvious, but in our busy lives bringing the same 20 people together every week for a commitment to building something beautiful is something to celebrate and not underestimate. Also, it feels good to be a part of a collective endeavour, part of a team which has a purpose. Choral music has the awesome power to bring us together physically on a very real level as well: Get this! A research study found that during a choral performance all the singers had heart rates that were beating in unison in relation to the speed of their own breathing. That puts a new perspective on the idea of choir as a place of “coming together”.
4. And let’s not forget the musical and cultural benefits. The pace of rehearsal and learning is quick. There is no time to linger on a choral piece for months. So everyone is challenged and improving their musical skills while also learning about the musical history and context of the varied world repertoire and texts being performed.
If you would like to read more in depth about this topic here are some links: