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The Healing Power of Singing

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Humans have innate musicality, and singing is good for our minds irrespective of age. Infants can remember their mother’s voice while still in the womb and music played to them before they were born. Studies have shown that singing can lower the risk of dementia in the elderly. Singing therapy is also widely applied to treat non-fluent aphasia. Because singing involves a slower pace and lengthened syllables versus speaking, frequent repetition of singing simple words and phrases helps the healthy singing center of the brain to gradually remold and grow to make adaptive changes and pick up language skills.

In addition to its amazing memory enhancing and brain rewiring capabilities, singing has many other physical benefits. Physically, singing improves our respiratory function. It is considered an aerobic exercise as it involves deep breathing, which improves lung health and cardiovascular conditioning by increasing the oxygen flow to all parts of our body. As mentioned previously, singing also requires control of vocal cords and muscles in the respiratory system, which can be beneficial to those with chronic respiratory diseases (CRD). Singing also boosts our immune system in a number of ways.

Furthermore, singing lowers tension by stimulating the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is a long nerve stretching from the brainstem all the way down the neck, chest and abdomen, and branching out to connect the vital organs. As the vagus nerve is connected to the voice box, singing naturally activates this nerve and calms you down.

Socially, singing in a group connects and bonds us together. For example, the Sofa Singers online choir brings together 500 singers each week to help people feel connected at this challenging time. In 2020, James was bestowed the Point of Lights Award from the UK government for his brilliant initiative that helps individuals overcome isolation and lifts people’s spirits. By joining an online group singing session, you will be able to overcome any on-stage shyness and express yourself individually and collectively; and more importantly, you can see the many happy faces of other singers and feel the positive power of the song!
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