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When I


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“The only thing better than singing is
more singing“
-Ella Fitzgerald

"He who sings frightens away his ills"


"Singing promotes health, breathing,

circulation and digestion."
-John Harvey Kellogg “Mr. Cornflakes”

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Singing is everywhere and singing is in every one of us, to one
degree or another.

“To sing for other people be it in nursing homes, citizenship

ceremonies, Christmas carols, choir concerts; the mix of music
and cultures, creates harmony in community”.

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…bringing over 90 people, young and old, from 8 community spaces together to

…awakening unheard voices in a series of workshops that teach four part

acapella harmonies in barbershop style;

… the power of a chorus of 100+ voices sharing the sound and spirit of choral
singing with their families and neighbours;

…being a part of a unique community effort that builds friendships and promotes
health and wellness* by sharing the gift of music.

*Research by the Chorus Impact Study conducted by Chorus America (2003; 2009), Stacey et
al.’s (2002) report on 20,000 Voices, and Bohan’s (2005) qualitative exploration of White and
Holley’s (2001) philosophy – offer some support for the claim that community singing generates a
range of positive impacts which are beneficial for promoting health and wellbeing on both an
individual and communal level.

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The Benefits of Singing
Numerous studies utilising different
research designs and methodological
approaches have reported the physical,
social, mental, emotional and spiritual
benefits of singing together:

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“Group singing can be indescribably uplifting. The sound of collective
voices making wonderful sounds together - having created and practised
when initially it seemed impossible - is quite unlike anything else, and
participants feel the effects of this achievement in quite dramatic ways. “

“For me, now, the space and place I live in is stamped with the
experiences of singing with the choir…a virtual village of belonging, that
has made this my home”. (Gridley, 2008, p.305”

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Mental Benefits…
• Learning to sing songs from beginning to end improves
your reading skills and your motor skills, by developing
the coordination between your brain and your body.

• The process of learning a song is a fascinating task, with

a distinct start and an end product. It's an artistic activity,
but also a structured and disciplined one, especially when
we sing with others. We are therefore exercising our
structural capabilities without necessarily realizing this is
happening - which is very helpful for people who might
normally avoid or dislike a lot of discipline and method.

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Mental Benefits…
• Singing helps to calm negative mental 'chatter' - the
distracting unhelpful thoughts we can all have at times
- because you are focused on the job of singing, and
this stops us dwelling on life's issues and problems.

• Singing is utterly absorbing and radically different from

usual work-related tasks. Like physical exercise,
singing requires a level of focus and bodily activity
that shifts our minds away from our usual patterns of
thinking, even away from quite pressurized and
stressful attitudes

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Physical Benefits…
Singing individually and in groups promotes greater
physical fitness, well-being and natural health, by
increasing the amount of oxygen you take into the body
as you take deep breaths.

Singing improves the muscle tone in the larynx and also

helps to calm snoring, which improves sleeping and
counters insomnia, which in turn increases our well-being
and health.

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Physical Benefits…
Improves the muscle tone of your rib cage, and in
your back and abdominals (belly and lower),
because these muscles are involved in controlling
the outflow of air and stabilizing the larynx as you

Stimulates the thyroid gland, which helps to

balance metabolism.

Singing is a natural pain killer.

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Social Benefits…
♫ breaks down barriers
♫ embraces, encourages and enables diversity
♫ promotes equality
♫ develops harmonious relationships
♫ promotes denser social and friendship networks
♫ fosters creativity
♫ gets people thinking
♫ builds cooperation and teamwork
♫ improves personal confidence
♫ brings people together, literally
♫ enhances morale
♫ increases participation in social, cultural and
community activities
♫ creates a huge sense of personal and group

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Spiritual Benefits…
Singing is actually a form of meditation.

When we sing, we shift focus and thinking away from our

usual life happenings and concerns, towards something

Singing is a way of bypassing your ego to acknowledge your


Singing helps us to 'let go', just as in other forms of


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Emotional Benefits…
♫ increased self-confidence, empowerment, wellbeing and interpersonal

♫ can help people come more easily to terms with grieving and loss, and
can help you to accept certain very testing emotions, to sink into them
and know that by surrendering to them, you can free yourself

♫ a general lifting of the spirits and a sense of joy and accomplishment

♫ lowered feelings of social isolation, depression and anxiety

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Emotional Benefits…
Singing can make you cry. Singing can ignite your
passions. And singing can make you laugh.

And if you want more of the stuff that makes you feel
good naturally - the good chemicals we produce in our
bodies when we do good things - you will be
encouraged to know that singing releases natural
opiates, and endorphins

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Building Communi
Every person and every establishment
on the planet can gain from the benefits
of singing, whether the people
concerned think they can sing or not.

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In May 2013 Nickel City Sound was first invited to
partner with the Human League in a community based
pilot called “When I Sing”.
The aim of the project is to use barbershop singing to
promote wellness, build community connections and
promote choral singing.

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In October 2013, key community
organizations from the Rainbow School
Board and Greater City of Sudbury were
invited to participate in the project.

8 groups have responded!

The WIS Planning Committee was formed with

representatives from these groups.

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90 Community Voices
The City of Greater Rainbow School Board
♫ RH Murray PS, Whitefish :10
♫ Pioneer Manor and Alzheimer’s
Society residents, family and ♫ Nesbitt PS, Sudbury: 23
caregivers : 10
♫ MSS GR 11 vocal class: 16
♫ Sudbury and District Health
Unit : staff ♫ Monetville PS: 10

♫ Walden PS : 16

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The Next

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