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Singing and the Brain
By Paulette
2/1/2013 9:01:00 AM
I've been singing a lot lately. I sing with a choir once a week and am also working on a show. I have a hectic schedule and have to rehearse when I can. So if you live in Chicago, you may see me singing at the far end of the train platform or as I am walking down the street. One thing I always notice is that singing makes me happy. I know that music can be a powerful mood changer and that playing and listening to music stimulates the brain in many ways, but I wanted to find out about the effects that singing has on the brain. It seems singing provides quite a few brain benefits. Here are just a few:
  • Increases oxygen to the brain, which is vital for the growth and health of brain cells. It also helps with cognitive ability and learning capacity.
  • Strengthens memory. Singing requires learning music and lyrics which is a great workout for areas of the brain involved in memory. (Putting information to music is also a great way to learn.)
  • Improves listening skills. Singers have to listen for notes, when to come in, cut-offs, pitch and rhythm. And if you are singing with a choir, you have to listen to the other singers in order to blend. All of this exercises focus and attention as well.
  • Improves mood. Singing releases endorphins that lift mood.
  • Reduces stress. Studies have shown reduced levels of stress hormones after singing.
The great thing about singing is you don't have to be good at it to benefit from it. So sing in the shower, sing in your car, do karaoke with friends or join a choir. It's a great workout for your brain.

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