My Pop Choir – The Physiology of Singing
The whole concept of singing in public is, for some, a frightening prospect. For others the thought alone is a non-starter. It rates as one of the top 10 ‘scariest’ things for people.
But some of that comes from the thought of singing alone; and a choir is anything but that. In fact, singing is ingrained in our psyche. Particularly singing in a group.
As the Globe & Mail’s, December 8, 2018 issue describes: “Singing has powerful effects on the brain, and it may provide a potent antidote to modern maladies such as stress, loneliness and depression.”
And singing in a choir? “More than other social activities…group singing seems to have the ability to generate feelings of social connectedness”, says Dr. Frank Russo, a professor of psychology at Ryerson University, “… it synchronizes singers’ breathing and heart rates. The auditory and motor areas of their brains spontaneously fire in time with one another. Their levels of the stress hormone cortisol decrease, while oxytocin, also known as the “love hormone,” increases.”
(Globe & Mail, December 8, 2018)
The purpose of singing in a group, like My Pop Choir, is to create a sense of community and belonging. To experience a shared goal with others, to be able to trust the choirmaster and the experience to teach you to sing lines of a song, while others are singing their lines and together, all are creating beautiful harmony.
It’s the strength of the collective being greater than that of the one. There’s some Mr. Spock in that if you can remember the reference!