In a recent article on NextAvenue.org, Deborah Quilter reported on a new study that is measuring the health effects of singing in a choir. In San Francisco, 390 participants in 12 choirs rehearsed and performed over a 12 month period. All participants were over 60 (the average age is 71) and 55% had never sung in a choir before. The last of the choirs is just completing it’s 12th month, so the final results have not been tabulated. However, every choir that was created decided to continue after their study was completed.
There are several unofficial findings reported by the choir members and one of the conductors. Some reported doing better on the memory tests that were administered along the way. Two important facets of singing were taught, posture and breathing. In learning these things for singing, the choir members found themselves sitting and standing properly which increased their general breathing capacity.
If you want to watch for the results, check in at: http://www.nextavenue.org/special-report/artful-aging/. It may be months before the final report is completed, but why wait! Join a choir today! A special choir for those with dementia is Giving Voice.