Numerous studies have shown that choirs and singing workshops in the workplace are an incredibly effective way of supporting mental health and wellbeing amongst employees – all whilst building a stronger and more inclusive sense of organisational culture and community.
For some however, the idea of stretching your vocal chords with your colleagues can seem like a daunting concept. Our response? We gently point out that on a weekly basis in the UK, more people sing as part of a group than play football. Singing has never been so popular, and whilst it is certainly a fun and fulfilling way to spend time with friends and colleagues, on a deeper level – the benefits for the business environment are far reaching.
Singing has parallels with mindfulness and meditation. When juggling pitch, tempo, rhythm, dynamics and lyrics, synapses start firing in various areas of our brain in a complex process that brings on a state of flow – a valuable respite from stressful days. Another added bonus – Singing is also reduces the stress hormone cortisol, which we can all benefit from dialling down in a high pressure workplace.
A flood of other hormones are also released when singing, including oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine, which not only make us feel good, but increase a sense of trust and bonding with those around us, and helps combat loneliness and depression. Singing also increases feelings of self-worth and self-confidence, and, in the mindful act of singing we unknowingly open ourselves up to a flood of emotions, memories, and associations, which can often lead us to new insights, helping us to empathise with those around us in new ways.
As we sing in unison, so we all breathe together, and speed up and slow down our hearts together. Believe it or not, our hearts can literally begin beating in unison, wonderfully representative of the cohesive power of singing for bringing teams together.
Singing is also nurturing because it can put people in a position of being vulnerable, which requires a sense of trust in those around you, and the sense of achievement when we have stretched our comfort zones to co-curate beautiful sounds is as enriching as it is therapeutic.
As famously immortalised in the worlds of Brian Eno: “…singing is the key to long life, a good figure, a stable temperament, increased intelligence, new friends, super self-confidence, heightened sexual attractiveness and a better sense of humour.”
We couldn’t agree more Brian. Find out more about our Workplace Choir Workshop here.