Singing is more than a fun activity—there are documented physical and psychological benefits!
strengthen the immune system
reduce heart rate and blood pressure
increase lung capacity
tone diaphragm, abdominal and intercostal muscles
help build concentration, memory, and listening skills
build self-esteem and confidence
act as an anti-depressant
"Studies have shown that people who sing regularly have fewer trips to the doctor, fewer falls, less medication and are less depressed." ...read full article.
"Belting out a song can lower your blood pressure dramatically even when drugs fail, a Harvard study reveals." ...read full article.
"Wired for Sound: Oliver Sacks, MD, the noted neurologist and author, describes the profound bond between music and our brains and how the simple act of singing can be good medicine—especially as we age." ...read full article.
"It's a great way to keep in shape because you are exercising your lungs and heart. Not only that, your body produces 'feel good' hormones called endorphins, which rush around your body when you sing. It's exactly the same when you eat a bar of chocolate. The good news with singing is that you don't gain any calories!" ...read full article.
"All sorts of people are finding that singing, alone or in a group, can be life-changing." ...read full article.
"Studies have linked singing with a lower heart rate, decreased blood pressure, and reduced stress, according to Patricia Preston-Roberts, a board-certified music therapist in New York City." ...read full article.
"Researchers found that listening to classical music improves cognitive ability; other experts add that any enjoyable music has positive effects on your brain and mood." ...read full article.
"...research published in the Journal of Music Therapy in 2004 suggested that group singing helped people to cope better with chronic pain." ...read full article.
"The medical profession strongly believes that singing is a good form of aerobic exercise for the abdominal muscles, the lungs and the circulation of blood." ...read full article.
"Singing may seem like such a simple act, which it is, but it has
numerous health benefits, according to the Wellness Letter, published by the University of CA, Berkeley..." ...read full article.
"Although I love music, I don't play any instruments; in fact, I didn't even sing back then, because I was tone deaf. Or so I'd always thought..." ...read full story.
For further reading (or rather, listening):
Check out these podcasts from The Library of Congress: Music and the Brain. "The Library's Music and the Brain events offer lectures, conversations and symposia about the explosion of new research at the intersection of cognitive neuroscience and music."
For more opportunities to sing:
Canada Sings! / Chantons Canada! is building a database of singalong dates and venues.