Choral singing and psychological wellbeing: Findings from English choirs in a cross-national survey using the WHOQOL-BREF
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Over 600 choral singers drawn from English choirs completed the WHOQOL-BREF questionnaire to measure physical, psychological, social, and environmental wellbeing, and a 12-item "effects of choral singing scale." They also provided accounts of the effects of choral singing on quality of life, wellbeing, and physical health in response to open questions. High average scores were found on all WHOQOL-BREF scales, and a high degree of consensus emerged on the positive benefits of choral singing, but substantial variations were also found. Within a group of participants with relatively low psychological wellbeing and strong perceptions of positive benefits associated with choral singing, four categories of significant personal and health challenges were found: enduring mental health problems; significant family/relationship problems; significant physical health challenges; and recent bereavement. Their accounts also revealed six "generative mechanisms" by which singing may impact on wellbeing and health: positive affect; focused attention; deep breathing; social support; cognitive stimulation; and regular commitment.
Proceedings of the International Symposium of Performance Science
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