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Our work and impact

The Case for Singing

The World Health Organisation’s definition of health (WHO, 1946) is ‘a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely an absence of illness or infirmity'. The benefits of singing have been widely researched and findings show that communal singing has the following physical benefits:

  • Increases oxygenation in the bloodstream and exercises major muscle groups in the upper body (even when sitting)
  • Improves circulation and is an accessible way of taking exercise
  • Improves breathing, and deeper breathing helps to reduce physical as well as mental tension
  • Improves posture
  • Reduces pain or contributes to pain management 
  • Improves immunity due to an increase in the secretion of antibodies while singing
  • Releases feel good chemicals dopamine and serotonin

The following psychological benefits are also identified:

  • Emotional expression
  • Improved self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Fostering of relationships, which alleviate feelings of isolation and loneliness and provide a sense of community and inclusion
  • Connections made with others without having to make the effort to make conversation or to be ‘a good communicator’
  • More positive mood, triggered by the above

In the case of people with dementia, who can often remember the words of songs and even learn new ones, despite struggling with day-to-day conversation, the Alzheimer’s Society tells us that participants experience the following additional benefits:

  • Increased alertness and engagement with others
  • Feelings of competence
  • Expression of imagination and creativity
  • Connections with their core personality and sense of humour
  • Links with past events/key people and relationships

The work of Musical Connections seeks to improve wellbeing in all of the above areas, and we measure the impact of our work on a regular basis.