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Yet another reason to sing in a choir….

Dear LACS Singers!  As if we really need another reason to sing in a choir!  Joanie found this interesting article on the internet and shared it with me.  I’d like to share it with you.  Enjoy!

Research has found that adults today have fewer friends than they did in the 1980s, and that more people say they have no one to discuss important stuff with. Cue the violins.

No really, cue them — and sing along. A new, small study suggests that singing is an effective way to make new friends because it helps us bond quickly with others.

For the study, led by Eiluned Pearce, Ph.D., at Oxford University, researchers looked at participants, ages 18 to 83, in adult education classes organized by the Workers’ Education Association in the UK. Eighty-four participants were enrolled in one of four singing classes; 51 participants were enrolled in one of two creative crafts classes or a creative writing class.

Over a period of seven months, the classes met weekly. During the first, third, and final months, researchers asked participants to indicate how close they felt to their classmates.

Results showed something surprising. Although participants in all the classes felt closer to their classmates by the study’s end, participants in the singing classes developed that closeness much more quickly.

As for why exactly singing facilitates fast group bonding, the researchers say one possible reason is that everyone does it at the same time. Compare that to creative writing or crafting, where everyone is working on an individual project. Another potential cause, according to the researchers, is that singing involves muscular effort, which triggers the release of certain molecules that can make us happier and more willing to cooperate.  (My editorial comment on “willing to cooperate:” Except if you’re Kevin…)

The takeaway here is that singing can be a great icebreaker among large groups of strangers, which can facilitate individual friendships down the line.

“Really close relationships still depend on interactions between individuals or much smaller groups,” Pearce said in a release, “but this study shows singing can kick start the bonding process.”

So – let the “bonding” continue.  See you at the next rehearsal!


Comments (1)

  1. Reply Brent Merritt

    During both my secondary and college years, I met the majority of my friends (and my wife!!) in choir. Learning and performing rigorous musical pieces is bound to draw you close to those around you, going through the same process.

    In terms of meeting my wife; although Natalie and I had lived 2 small-towm blocks from each other for years, we never really had an in-depth conversation until our high school choir trip to Virginia Beach in 1999. We quickly became best friends and now have been married for ten years and have three little Merritts running around the house.

    With that said, I’m incredibly thankful for the relationships that have blossomed out of my experiences in vocal music.

    Dr. Oster – I have YOU to thank for the relationship I have with Natalie today!

    On the other hand – if my kids are naughty, technically I should be able to send them to YOUR house. Hmmmmmmmm …. 🙂

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