4 of 10 Reasons why singing is good for your health

by Sarah Pearson

Singing is a community builder

“Here comes the hum!”

This was the title of a song that a recent Music Care Certificate Program cohort wrote in the final minutes of the course. Asked to write a song to sum up their experience of the course, the group chose to write a song to the tune of “Here Comes the Sun,” capturing their experience of singing and humming together. One music care strategy taught in Level 1 of the course is the simple activity of humming. The connection and oneness that can come from humming as a whole group was enough of a highlight for this group that they featured it in a song.

Singing is community-building and togetherness-generating. In The Sound of Music, a family heals from loss and silence about their grief, and finds laughter and joy again, through singing together. Here in Canada, during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, many of us know first-hand the thunderous joy of an entire arena singing their home team’s song. Singing together can change a nation, even free a nation, as we see in this stunning documentary “The Singing Revolution.”

In long term care homes, sing-alongs can bring opportunities for connection and togetherness, and choirs can create a feeling of accomplishment. In youth centres, karaoke machines and open mics can inspire laughter, facilitate peer support and build trust. Loved ones singing meaningful songs around a hospice bed can create special moments that extend to neighbouring families and staff.  

How can singing create more connection in your life? How can it strengthen the communities you live and work in? How can it address isolation amongst your neighbours, clients, or loved ones, and how can it open up new relationships?

Sarah Pearson is a music therapist working in oncology and palliative care in Kitchener, ON . She is the Program Development Coordinator for the Room 217 Foundation and Lead Facilitator of the Music Care Certificate Program.