Singing for people with long-term illnesses
A 'Learning Matters' awards 2017 Case Study.
There is growing evidence showing that singing groups or choirs may lead to improvements in physical and emotional health and wellbeing in people with long term health conditions (Clift and Morrison, 2011; Keeler et al., 2015). This includes improvements in lung function, reductions in blood pressure and changes in mood (Stacy et al., 2002; Gick and Nicol, 2016; Bonhila et al., 2009; Grape et al., 2002). Being part of a choir involves participation in a variety of different activities, and skills including exercises to improve breathing, memory, and movement. Group singing is also very much a social activity, providing opportunities for people to make new friends in a safe and secure environment, providing people with an opportunity to participate in an enjoyable activity and a break from focussing on their long term illness (Dingle et al., 2013; Mellor, 2013).