SINGING is good for your health and can help members beat the blues – according to a psychologist working with a choir based in Bridlington.
The All-For-One choir, whose 40 strong Bridlington branch meet weekly at Hilderthorpe School, worked with psychologist Honey Langcaster-James to investigate the effect of joining a choir on a person’s mental health.
Interviewing 200 choir members from around Yorkshire who had begun singing in the last two years, including some from the Bridlington All-For-One group, it was found that 95% of people believed being part of a choir could help reduce symptoms of depression.
Helen Garnett, creative director for All-For-One choirs, said: “It’s a common misconception that to join a local choir you need to be able to sing, and most people think you have to be able to read music or have some musical experience.
“However many of our members claim that they can’t sing a note and it’s a complete first for them.
“You should hear the phenomenally beautiful sound that the choirs produce when everyone comes together, it’s truly amazing.”
82% of those questioned said being in a choir had improved their psychological and/or emotional health, and 76% said being in a choir could improve symptoms of depression better than taking anti-depressants.
Honey Langcaster-James, a lecturer from the University of Hull, said: “It is no coincidence that depression and mental ill health appears to be on the increase just as our sense of community in the modern day world is diminishing with people becoming more isolated and lonely.
“What this research shows is that many people would benefit psychologically from joining a choir.
“The emotional benefits would include not only making friends and being involved in local community events but also feeling accepted and included in something worthwhile.”
76% of All-For-One members said that joining had improved their self-esteem, 62% say they have become a more confident person and 58% say their self confidence in other areas of their life has improved.
Also, 93% say that they have made a friend by joining the choir and 97% saying that the choir had increased the fun in their life.
The group have now teamed up with Yorkshire’s premier gospel choir ‘Hot Gospel’ and teen choir ‘All For Felly’ to raise money for The Josh Fell Research Fund through Heart Research UK, and will donate 50% of the proceeds from a Christmas concert at Hull City Hall on Friday December 7 at 7.30pm, to the fund.
The Bridlington group meet at Hilderthorpe School on Monday evenings, during term-time only, at 7pm.
For more information on the choir and their shows visit www.allforonechoir.com