World Choir Games Flanders 2020

Lifting Our Voices to Improve Our Health As We Age

  • Music has always had the powers to lift our spirits and make the day seem a little brighter. As we age, music can be one of the most comforting ways to connect with our favorite past-times. Hearing the song you once danced to with your sweetheart as a teenager or listening to a soundtrack from one of your favorite old films are both pleasant reminders of time well spent.

    For senior citizens, it is increasingly important to facilitate hobbies and activities that contribute to an active, healthy lifestyle. Research in psychiatry has revealed that members of the retired community (usually ages 65 and older) who participate in community arts programs, like choirs, needed less visits to the doctor, take less medication, and are generally happier individuals. Joining a choir is a fantastic way to hone those vocal chords for good, promoting a healthy mind, body, and spirit as we age.

    How Music Can Help the Brain

    One of the worst parts of growing old is the diminishing effects on our memories and brains. However, singing in a choir is a great way to keep your mind nimble and your cognitive functions working to their fullest capacity. Choir members will be expected to memorize a variety of melodies and song lyrics on their own. Memorizing new information is essential to keeping your brain young, as it will test your ability to narrow your focus on a task for the benefit of others later on.

    According to scientific studies in neurology, there may be a connection between music and certain regions of the brain that are not easily activated. Music and singing can actually put these regions into use, strengthening neural connections and improving brain health. Plus, learning new songs is an exciting bit of homework to do during your down-time, and it can be a fun way to test and showcase that your mental capacity is not, in fact, going downhill.

    Social Benefits of Joining a Choir

    Knowing a new song and all of its lyrics is also a great confidence booster and can improve your self-esteem. While singing amongst the other members of your choir, you will feel like you are part of a team and that your voice and spirit matters to the overall well-being of the group. Oftentimes, senior living can be lonely and being at home all the time is isolating. Being in a choir will help you to avoid feeling depressed, as the social benefits will outweigh loneliness and allow you to meet new groups of people.

    Choirs can also be great for traveling to new places and learning about different locations in your town. Oftentimes, choirs will venture together to perform at various events, schools, and religious centers. These experiences and the memories that choirs create together are helpful ways to age gracefully and healthfully. Music, after all, is the universal language, and one that should be spoken and shared throughout every stage of our lives.

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