Mais um (um pouco longo) interessante artigo sobre os benefícios de cantar em coro. Ao que parece, estamos na MODA!!
Quanto a mim, confirmo TUDO!
Unlikely as it sounds, choral singing is having its moment in the limelight. Following a succession of BBC TV shows, including Last Choir Standing and The Choir: Boys Don't Sing, choral groups have never been more mainstream. Church attendance is up, thanks to the recession, and so too are the numbers wishing to join choirs. Two months ago, Susan Boyle, the unassuming Britain's Got Talent sensation on course to be the next global superstar, was turned away by her local church choir because there were no vacancies.
Besides being popular, singing is also good for you. In the current economic climate, choirs offer an inexpensive way to get a natural high. From church groups to karaoke bars, belting out a hymn or a popular hit is a quick way to lift the spirits. Recent studies have shown singing to be beneficial not only to general health – a University of Pittsburgh survey suggested that regular church attendance extended a person's life by two or three years – it can help ease the pain of chronic illnesses, too.
Professor Graham Welch, of the University of London, has done extensive research into singing and its health benefits. "When you sing, you breathe in a different way so you use more of your total lung volume. This means there's a tendency to increase the airflow so your blood is more oxygenated. When that happens, you are more alert. Singing also exercises the cardio-vascular system, and gives you the kind of hormonal release that comes from being focused on a task and enjoying that task at the same time."
Dr Danny Williams, a member of the British Osteopathic Association, often refers patients with muscular problems to join a choir. "The types of people I recommend take up singing are stressed individuals or desk workers who, due to being in a slumped sitting position for much of the day, do not use their diaphragms sufficiently.
"People who are very stressed or anxious tend to be 'upper-rib breathers', who are prone to problems of hyperventilating, and suffer from increased muscle tension in the body." In such cases, singing can help patients use their diaphragms more, which allows for better function in the body, less tension and stress, and a general sense of wellbeing: "The tension in the body relaxes, creating better muscular tone and strengthening immunity."
Singing in a choir can also contribute to an increased sense of community and foster a sense of belonging. After a divorce and subsequent financial problems led to her having a nervous breakdown, Louise Palmer, 38, from Horndean in Hampshire, was feeling suicidal. At the beginning of the year, she joined her local Rock Choir, an ensemble made up of amateur enthusiasts who perform pop, gospel and Motown numbers. As participants are taught to sing by rote, rather than by reading music, and no audition is required, the choir has grown from a modest outfit formed four years ago in Farnham, Surrey, to a dozen-strong chain stretching across the South-East, with each choir comprising up to 170 members. Some 60 more choirs are planned, with talks in progress about a possible performance at Glastonbury Festival.
After Palmer joined Rock Choir, she noticed a change in herself almost overnight. Her depression lifted, and she found that singing helped to keep her low moods at bay. "It is the best thing I have ever done," she says. "I look forward to every Wednesday when we rehearse. I worry that I could go back to that black hole I was once in, which terrifies me. But because I have found a hobby I love, I feel more able to cope and be happy."
Hampshire-based Juliette Leach, 44, has also experienced the benefits of group singing. Diagnosed aged 18 with ankylosing spondylitis, a form of arthritis of the spine, she joined Spinnaker Chorus, a female barber-shop troupe, after seeing them perform. Now she likens singing with them to doing a workout, one that helps ease the pain of her arthritis: "They taught me how to sing effectively, using my mouth, larynx, facial muscles and good posture, and how to breathe, holding onto the breath throughout a phrase, and snatching a breath in unison at certain intervals. By the end of a song, my rib cage feels as though it has been exercised to its limit, and we are all breathless from what is effectively an aerobic workout."
She now works as a vocal coach and runs a choir at a local school.
Emily Thackery, 25, from Epsom, Surrey, was diagnosed at birth with cystic fibrosis, and over the years has used singing to help with her breathing, as well as give her a positive mental focus. "I'm positive the singing has helped improve my lung capacity," she says.
"They teach you a technique known as intercostal diaphragmatic breathing, in which you learn to utilise the muscles in between the ribs and diaphragm more effectively. I'm convinced that as I became more ill it was of real benefit that I could use those muscles. As my lungs themselves were deteriorating, the muscle strength I had built up helped me keep going when technically I shouldn't have been able to."
In January 2007, Emily had a lung transplant and was subsequently on a ventilator for 10 weeks – but even that didn't stop her singing. "I sung when I was on oxygen. It was a really big deal to me to be able to keep doing that."