If you go on the internet and type in “benefits from singing in a choir,” many articles extolling its virtues will appear. One example from the University of Oxford website on research states:
Singing in a choir is beneficial in a number of different ways. We’ve just published some research that reveals that group singing not only helps forge social bonds, it also does so particularly quickly, acting as an excellent icebreaker. We’ve also shown that community singing is effective for bonding large groups, making it an ideal behavior to improve our broader social networks. This is particularly valuable in today’s often alienating world, where many of our social interactions are conducted remotely via Facebook and Twitter.
Singing has also been shown to improve our sense of happiness and wellbeing. Research has found, for example, that people feel more positive after actively singing than they do after passively listening to music or after chatting about positive life events. Improved mood probably in part comes directly from the release of positive neurochemicals such as β-endorphin, dopamine and serotonin. It is also likely to be influenced by changes in our sense of social closeness with others.
In our everyday hectic lifestyles, participating in an activity like singing in the HMC Choir or Men’s Chorus is good for your spiritual, mental and physical health.
Here are some comments from Home Church Choir members about what singing in the choir means to them:
- It's such a joy – everyone comes from different backgrounds with different experiences/skills to work to make music – a living, breathing event in the life of our church.
- Learning anthems to present in worship and seeing how they support the theme of the day; making friends and meeting new people; opportunity to work with the finest professionals like Glenn and Susan; and finally you have the best seat in the house.
- I returned to choir after a long absence because I loved what I was hearing from the choir loft. Whenever I attended church in the congregation, I was at loose ends and not fully engaged. What was I missing? When I re-joined the choir I felt that I was home. Comforted, certainly challenged, found and accepted. Moravian music has been in my blood from childhood. It's my way to worship, sing, praise and love with joy. 'Sing we now with one accord.'.
- Music is the way I worship. Many of my spiritual "highs" have come through singing. I have been in the Home Church choir most of the years since 1961, and it's like family to me. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else!
- Being Moravian, I feel a kinship with the world wide Moravian and all the saints who have gone before us when I sing our hymns and anthems.
- People come up to me after the service and say, 'You sing with such joy and I could understand every word.' These comments mean a lot to me – that I seem to be making a difference.
The HMC Choir meets each Thursday evening from 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m., Men’s Chorus every other Thursday 7:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. We meet at 9:30 a.m. on Sundays for a short rehearsal before the 10 a.m. service.
The history of choral music and its importance to the spiritual life of Home Church are hard to overstate. If you like to sing, think you have a pleasant tone and can sing in tune, consider joining a choir at Home Church and helping to keep that history alive.