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Reasons to Sing the Changes

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  • A Cappella News
    THE SUN: We wish you a vocal Christmas †because it should help ensure a happy New Year. According to researchers at Western Ontario University, Canada,
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 13, 2007
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      THE SUN:

      We wish you a vocal Christmas â€" because it should help ensure a happy
      New Year. According to researchers at Western Ontario University,
      Canada, singing can help lift depression. And closer to home, as we
      report above, a choir is proving to be a canny cure for people with
      asthma and other serious breathing problems.

      Here Christopher Browning explains why there are lots of good reasons
      to sing out.

      Snoring

      Because singing tones muscles at the back of the throat, it has been
      shown to give the long-suffering partners of snorers a silent night.
      Alise Ojay, who headed a study into its benefits at the University of
      Exeter, says: “Surgical interventions to treat snoring include
      removing tissue from the upper throat or toughening it by creating
      scar tissue. “Singing offers a harmless, healthy, noninvasive,
      inexpensive, even enjoyable way to restore the throat’s tone.”

      For more information, see singingforsnorers.com

      Soothe Baby

      Every parent knows that singing a lullaby can calm a grumpy child, but
      a study at the University of Western Sydney found that it can also
      soothe desperately ill infants.Researchers discovered songs help
      babies in intensive care cope with their life-saving treatment. They
      say songs help tots maintain normal behavioural development. They are
      less irritable, upset and tearful. Dr Stephen Malloch says: “It’s
      likely the babies who received music therapy used up less energy when
      compared with the babies who did not receive the therapy. “If a baby
      is less irritable and cries less, this has implications for rate of
      healing and weight gain â€" two significant factors which contribute to
      the length of a hospital stay.”

      Dementia

      Songs from our childhoods appear to break through the barriers of
      dementia. Canadian scientists found that patients with severe
      Alzheimer’s, who did not respond to other stimulus, were able to
      recognise songs from their youth and join in. If nurses played a tune
      incorrectly one would screw up her face and complain, going some way
      to proveing that the areas of the brain which retain musical memories
      are not affected by the condition. Boffins hope the discovery will
      lead to music therapies to help patients with dementia.

      Bonding

      Companies use songs to help build teamwork and loyalty. Computer giant
      IBM has rehashed an American military tune while cash till
      manufacturer NCR has created its own version of The Beatles’ Back In
      The USSR to encourage employees to sing from the same hymn sheet.
      Advocates of business-bop claim that upbeat company songs are designed
      to stress youthful energy and a can-do attitude. They are widely used
      in the US and Japan. But, and this won’t surprise you, Warwick
      University discovered many British workers found company songs an
      embarrassment.

      Smoking

      American health campaigners are using song to help smokers stub out.
      Neighbourhood choirs have been formed to promote the benefits of
      quitting and to encourage a buddy system where on-song choir members
      help each other beat their nicotine addiction. A two-year pilot
      project cut smoking rates from 34 to 27 per cent across three mainly
      African-American neighbourhoods, while smoking rates in comparable
      areas fell by just one per cent over the same period. A key feature in
      this initiative was a Gospelfest, where each choir included an
      antismoking song in its repertoire.

      Immmune System

      Listening to a choir could help you shake off coughs and colds.
      Researchers at Frankfurt University, Germany, asked volunteers to
      listen to choral music and used saliva tests to measure hormone levels
      before and after the performance. Levels of cortisol, a hormone known
      to suppress immune system response, was much lower after the show.
      Cortisol undermines the body’s ability to produce T cells which fight
      infection. High levels of cortisol are also linked to blood pressure
      and blood sugar problems.

      Stress

      The same researchers found joining in a singsong lowers stress. Some
      studies have shown that singing releases the love hormone oxytocin,
      which is released by both sexes during orgasm â€" and researchers at
      Canterbury Christ Church University found choir members feel more
      upbeat after singing.

      http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/woman/health/article575611.ece

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      http://www.cappellanews.com
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