We singers have a justified sense of superiority. Scientific studies have demonstrated time and time again the benefits to our well-being of belonging to a choir. Better physical health from all that deep breathing, better mental facility arising from the coordination involved in converting notes on a page into sound, and better social connection from a sense of common purpose – these are are just some of the many benefits which we all enjoy.
It seems a pretty exclusive club, with copious benefits which are not available for non-singers. This idea has recently nagged at the back of my mind. Does this really mean that non-singers are at such a disadvantage in life?
But then a number of other activities have been studied recently for their beneficial effects. Belonging to a sporting team, preferably but not necessarily as a player, is apparently good for you. Gardening (and this I find particularly difficult to accept, from my own experience) is also supposed to improve one’s physical, mental and spiritual state.
Imaging my surprise at browsing the website of the composer, John Rutter, and finding a comment which, based on his experience of directing and playing music for weddings, is on just this topic. Having once been a choirmaster at an attractive village church popular for weddings, I empathise with his story. The article is short and pithy so, rather than paraphrasing it, I leave you to click here and to read it for yourself.
And, of course, I leave you to draw your own conclusions.