The Benefits of Singing

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Since we are reviewing the healing properties of the voice today, I thought it would be great to post about this research.

According to Laura Saunders, author of “Your Brain on Music” singing releases the feel-good endorphins like serotonin which boost mood and reduce stress. Singing for one hour she says, increases immune proteins that help fight cancer and other illnesses.

In a study entitled, “Singing for the Brain,” Alzheimer patients participated in a singing program. Participants and caregivers met regularly with a musician to perform vocal warm-ups, sing familiar songs and spend time socializing with others. Participants reported improved mood, stress relief and a greater sense of wellbeing.

Apparently, a person’s ability to engage in music; particularly rhythm playing and singing remains intact late into the disease process, despite the inevitable loss of many of their other cognitive faculties and motor skills. This is due in part because rhythm and the repetition of well-rehearsed song responses require little or no cognitive or mental processing for success.

We have previously reviewed the cognitive benefits of music on the brain, but this study demonstrates the emotional component of sound healing and music therapy. I hope much more research is performed in sound healing. Perhaps, we will discover that musical education can help prevent Alzheimer’s altogether. It has already been shown that Musicians have larger areas of grey matter and more myelin sheath than non-musicians. Perhaps someday we can discover a correlation here? Regardless, if singing can provide a modicum of releif from the social anxiety and isolation that are a result of this disease, it goes without saying we should be creating soundscapes for these patients to help soothe them and comfort them througout the various stages of this disease. Wouldnt you agree?

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