The Importance of Singing In Choirs to Your Health

by FloraBreenRobison

I've been singing all my life in a variety of settings and genres. There is something special about belonging to a choir ,and the health benefits are overwhelming

Singing in choirs have provided me with a wonderful social life. I've met most of my friends through choirs.In addition, choral singing has improved my health while having fun.

Choral Singing Enhances Your Love of Life

A Lifelong Love



I've sung since before I was old enough to remember events instead of simply smells and sounds. There is a recording of me at the age of three singing "Melancholy Baby." Both sides of my family are full of musical talent. Although not all of my musical relatives sing, there is a wide variety of talent and several people can sing as well as play several instruments or dance. I feel privileged to come from such an artistic family.

Throughout my life I have sung a variety of styles of music just for myself, my friends and family, and in front of audiences as either a soloist, a member of small ensembles, or a member of choirs. I do not have to have even a single person around to enjoy singing. I love singing, period. But while I love singing solos, rehearsing alone is rather lonely. Never by myself do I have as much fun singing as I do as a member of a choir.

Singing in a choir is a great way to expand your social life. Just as people sign up for sports teams to make friends and get exercise, singers can meet people who love to sing as much as they do and keep physically fit. I love singing and want to be around people who love singing. Sometimes I think that I'd have no social life at all during the winter were it not for choir, because I have bad balance on ice and am generally house bound. Choir membership provides me with a social life now that I'm not in class any longer and it is difficult to keep up friendships on your own if you do not belong to organized groups. All of the people I see socially on a regular basis I've met through music-either as a fellow choir member, a fellow member of a stage musical, or a regular member of the audience to Chilliwack concerts and shows. A full social life with deep friendships rather than casual acquaintances can help keep you emotionally happy. For me, long time fellow choir members are my extended family.

There is nothing as exhilarating as creating harmony with other singers, especially in great acoustics. There are certain sounds that can only be appreciated when you hear them reverberate off the church walls. It's a spiritual experience for me to sing choral music, even when we are only rehearsing.

Currently, I belong to three choirs through The Chilliwack Academy of Music: The Chilliwack Festival Chorus, The Chilliwack Women's Chorus, and The Chilliwack Inter-generational Chorus. All three are directed by Soprano Paula Quick. I have belonged to other choirs and small ensembles as well.

I have belonged to The Chilliwack Festival Chorus since January 1999. I was invited to join by my dear friend, Ted Tubbs. Retired Sgt. Major Edward Tubbs died early in 2011 at the age of 71 and I am still not over his death. I met him in 1997 when I was 21 while we were in a production of The Sound of Music. He played Uncle Max and I had one scene with him. I was Sister Sophia and normally wouldn't have shared scenes with him, but all cast members from late teens and older were needed to play extras and bit parts when otherwise not on stage. We went on to be in several Stage musicals together-The Wizard of Oz, Fiddler on the Roof, Oliver!, and South Pacific.

Through some lucky stroke of fate, I was blessed to sing a duet with him in the last concert he was in before he developed cancer. I had been wanting to sing a duet with this great tenor voice for a long time, but there had never been the right opportunity. The Festival Chorus is famous in the Fraser Valley for performing a wide variety of repertoire, especially in our Spring concerts. In the spring of 2009, our theme was The Big Band Era. Our songs included Sentimental Journey, Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree, Star Dust, and Let's Do It, Let's Fall in love. Ted and I sang a duet lead of "How Deep is the Ocean," with the women in the chorus singing back-up. I treasure this memory and I am happy that I have a copy of that recording.



Choral Singing Improves your Physical Health as Well

There are solid physical benefits to singing in a choir. To sing properly, you must have good posture and be relaxed. There will be no beautiful and sustained sounds if you are slouching or rigid. You are taught to breath deeply instead of the normal short breaths we take. Anyone who thinks that singing isn't aerobic exercise has never sung in a choir or sung classical music in general. There are muscles I am normally not even aware I have that are exercised when singing classical music in a choir. When I get home from rehearsal I am physically tired-but it is a pleasant tiredness. Researchers have discovered that singing in choirs reduces stress levels and increases neural activity. All these benefits when we are having fun makes it seem like play, not work.


In conclusion:

I would be lost without my choirs. My mental and physical health would suffer and my social life would dissappear over the winter. I cannot imagine life without them.

My Chilliwack Women's Chorus Rehearses with the Fraser Valley Philharmonic

Video Taken By Choral Director Paul Quick
Updated: 03/31/2012, FloraBreenRobison
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?


Flora on 09/03/2016

This is Flora Breen Robison -

Not signed in, but I wanted to say publicly that I am NOT currently a member of ANY choir as I quit the choir of the C.U.C due to personal and private reasons.

It goes beyond the fact that I have sprained my ankle. That is keeping me tied up from singing in a choir, period.

I am considering joining the Anglican Church choir once I am healthy enough to sing in a choir and have a solid and RELIABLE method of travel to and from the Church.

kathleenkat on 01/07/2013

I am very glad you posted this. Though I don't sing in a choir, I sing art song solos, among everything from singing in the car to singing in the shower. I am overall healthier and happier when I sing; I think more people should do it. The feel throughout the body, the connection of the body to voice, I think is very good for health for all the reasons you mention.

FloraBreenRobison on 10/19/2012

Hi, Sheilamarie.

It's always great to hear from a fellow choir singer and a fellow BCer.

Chilliwack is a First Nation/Native Canadian name. How that peoples became a place name is unknown since the largest First Nation in Chilliwack are the Sto:Lo Nation, but it has been around a long time.

My choir is getting ready for our Christmas concert. Our theme thisseason is Celtic/Old English Christmas.


sheilamarie on 10/17/2012

Hi FloraBreenRobison from a fellow British Columbian. I had a double take -- "Chilliwack" is not a common place name, and then I saw "Fraser Valley" and I knew for sure.
I love to sing, too. I am in two choirs plus I sing at church. Something comes alive inside me when I sing. I know what you mean about the muscles involved, too. A singer has to work those diaphragm muscles and learn to control how to place the sounds.
It's such a nice idea to write about this topic. I look forward to reading more from you.

FloraBreenRobison on 07/07/2012

My grandmother was in several choirs during her lifetime. Earlier this month, after a few years of dealing with Alzheimer's Disease she finally died at the age of 94. Her oldest grandchild turned 50 years old a month earlier and her oldest great-grand-child will turn 20 this year.

FloraBreenRobison on 04/06/2012

Carolee-It is weird isn't it? I will tell you what else is weird. There is a whole bunch of HP writers on this site. Not all of them are *former* members of HP either. There are plenty of HP writers who are *both* sites. I'd be on both too if I wasn't banned.

I know everyone is busy. You can't always stop by.

Glad to hear your neighbors like to hear you. :) I've sung at weddings and funerals too. It's been a while sing I've sung at a funeral. Keep up the singing, even if it is only around the house!

Carolee on 04/06/2012

Hey Flora, you are doing great and I wish you every success here. It's weird not actually seeing you over at HP. Sorry to take so long to stop by but I promise I will check in from time to time. Your articles look great. I like the formatting. Great to see Amy

I use to sing in church and school a lot. I have been asked to sing at funerals, wedding and concerts but haven't in a awhile. I do sing at home but unlike Kelly my neighbours gather to hear

FloraBreenRobison on 04/04/2012

Brenda-Hello. Some people have a natural talent that seems to come to them without any assistance. My grandmother was like that. Others have a latent talent waiting to be honed.

BrendaReeves on 04/04/2012

You are so right. I once opened my mouth to sing in church and nothing came out. I couldn't believe the difference that one singing lesson made.

FloraBreenRobison on 04/02/2012

Angel-Hi. Yes I'm originally from HP. Hoiw great that your daughter has joined a choir and enjoys it. You can enjoy singing without lessons, especially around the house. :) Lessons were necessary for me to learn how to sing classical music. I had no classical voice without it.

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