The Souhegan Valley Chorus often wishes to announce related events, such as performances by its director, accompanist, or other members.

From the Christian Science Monitor:

A study published recently by researchers at Deakin University in Australia found that people who [join a choral or dance group] have a markedly better sense of “subjective well-being,” an internationally recognized metric that includes several measures of happiness and life satisfaction. To increase well-being, the study says, people must participate in music “in the company of others.” Those who sang or danced alone did not seem to receive the same benefit.

Music itself contains concepts such as “harmony,” “blending,” and “rhythm” that seem to call forth the need to get along with others – and enjoy the interaction. Musicians literally must be “on the same page” as fellow performers, and dancers must be closely in tune with the movement of a partner or ensemble. This getting “in synch” seems to provide a sense of satisfaction.

The study was based on phone interviews with 1,000 randomly chosen individuals. While it doesn’t prove that communal musical activities cause a higher sense of well-being, it does show that the two seem to go hand-in-hand.

Many people instinctively recognize the benefits of group singing. A 2009 study commissioned by the group Chorus America estimated that 42.6 million people in the United States were singing as members of 270,000 choral groups. It found that choral singing put participants in a better frame of mind – made them “better team players” who are “willing to accept criticism, regularly accept assignments outside their area of expertise, and [who are] significantly less likely to say they don’t get enough credit for what they do….”

Taking time to sing didn’t mean ignoring the world, either. Choral singers “exhibit greater civic leadership than their fellow Americans,” the Chorus America study says, and “they are significantly more likely to report voting regularly, reading books and newspapers regularly, contributing money to political parties or candidates, serving as officers of civic organizations, and working for political parties.”