Joy of Singing (made easier!)
- Here is the whole article!
Joy of singing in a choir could be preventive medicine, researchers say
By Marla Jo Fisher Knight Ridder , 3/31/2001
IRVINE, Calif. - Singing in a choir might just make you healthier, according
to a newly publicized study by the University of California, Irvine.
Researchers found increased levels of disease-fighting proteins in the
mouths of choir members after they sang Beethoven's choral masterwork,
According to the study, a protein used by the immune system to fight disease
called Immunoglobulin A increased 150 percent during rehearsals and 240
percent during performance. The boost seemed directly related to the
singers' states of mind, which many participants described as happy or
''The more passionate you feel while singing, the greater the effect,'' said
education professor Robert Beck, who authored the study with Thomas Cesario,
dean of the university's College of Medicine. The study was published this
school year in the scientific journal Music Perception.
The difference in the increased levels between a performance and rehearsal,
scientists theorized, might be because the singers had achieved mastery of
the complicated piece after often-stressful rehearsals and also were
enjoying the thrill of the performance itself.
That makes perfect sense to baritone Steve Morris, a member of the Santa
Ana, Calif.-based Pacific Chorale who participated in the study and has a
deeply emotional reaction to performing.
''Afterward, I'm floating,'' said Morris, 61, a member of choir with his
wife, Ann, since 1969. ''I feel terrific. There have been many times going
into a concert when I'm fighting a cold or have a sore throat, but I managed
to show up and do the performance, and I'm higher than a kite when it's
Researchers attended two rehearsals and a performance of the 160-member
Pacific Chorale over an eight-week period, as the choir prepared for and
sang Beethoven's complex masterwork of sacred music.
They used cotton swabs to collect saliva, which contains the immune protein,
from some 32 volunteer choir members, before and after singing, and analyzed
This story ran on page 5 of the Boston Globe on 3/31/2001.
© Copyright 2001 Globe Newspaper Company.