Published Report Details
Mandatory Fields
Moss, Hilary; Lynch, Julie; O'Donoghue, Jessica
Sing Yourself Better: The Health and Well-being Benefits of Singing in a Choir
Irish Wolrld Academy of Music and Dance
Optional Fields
Singing; health; choir; well-being

A growing interest in the impact of singing on health and well-being has seen a dramatic

increase in the number of research projects in this area in recent years. A growing body of

evidence attests to the various health benefits of singing, however to date these studies have

been small in size and representative of specific clinical populations. This research explored

the health and well-being benefits associated with choir singing from the perspective of the

choristers themselves. It is the largest international study to date and the first study to report

the health benefits of singing for Irish adults.

Key findings

Irish singers reported an overwhelmingly positive response in terms of physical and

physiological benefits, social benefits, psychological/emotional benefits and spiritual


Participants spanned a wide range of ages, from 18 90, which suggests that people of

all ages find singing to be a beneficial activity for their health and well-being. This

highlights the potential for choirs to improve well-being in a myriad of settings, including

but not limited to nursing homes, workplaces and educational institutions.

Participants also cited a variety of choral experience, ranging from singing in a choir for

all their adult life to singing with a choir for only one year. Irrespective of length of

experience, responses remained overwhelmingly positive.

Gender differences were observed in responses. Reports of physical benefits, social

benefits and emotional benefits were significantly higher for female participants than for

male participants.

The ratio of female to male respondents was approximately 5:1, highlighting on a largescale

international study the gender imbalance that is often cited in choral settings, as

well as many other performing arts activities.

Professional singers scored more highly across all domains than their amateur

counterparts, with the difference being statistically significant within the physical, social

and spiritual categories. This finding was not anticipated, as it was expected that

amateur singers may report more social benefits than professionals as they pursue

singing as a leisure activity or a social gathering as opposed to work.

The key benefits of singing in a choir were increased social connection; improved

respiratory health; cognitive stimulation; improved mental health and transcendence

from everyday worries and pain.




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