Ground-breaking research into the effects of singing on health could lead to significant savings for the National Health Service (NHS), according to experts. And a unique study, commissioned by Eastern and Coastal Kent NHS Trust, could also reveal whether crooning delays the onset of dementia and prevents depression in older people.
Professor Stephen Clift, who is leading the project at Canterbury Christ Church Universityâs Sidney De Haan Research Centre, said: âThere is now more interest in how simple things can improve well-being. "Group activities such as singing stop elderly people feeling isolated and anxious, which improves their mood and can help deal with issues such as depression.
The 12-week project, which was made possible through Â£250,000 of funding from the National Institute for Health Research, is the first of its kind in the UK.
The project will see over-60s split into two groups, a singing group and a non-singing control group, enabling a comparison to be made. Health measures will be monitored, such as how many times they visit their GPs over the 12 weeks. Prof Clift said: âThis will allow us to test the value of singing in relation to well-being and health. As people live longer, the NHS is keen to ensure a good quality of life for the elderly.
The study will also allow us to assess whether this could result in savings for the NHS and local authority services. âIf we can prevent a small number of people being hospitalised, we can save a considerable amount.â The project will be undertaken with partners from Sing For Life, which operates more than 40 Silver Song Clubs in the South East.