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Center for
Lifelong Music Making
Why Sing?
Research has found that singing:

Improves mood and boosts vitality

  • Increases oxytocin—a hormone connected with bonding and intimacy (Christina Grape)
  • Pumps endorphins—neurotransmitters that inhibit pain and produce euphoria (Robin Dunbar)
  • Creates a greater sense of well-being for choral singers than for solo singers or team sports players (Nick Stewart)

Develops the brain

  • Improves executive function—the part of the brain responsible for reasoning, problem solving, creativity, flexibility, self-control, and focus (Adele Diamond)
  • Improves the brain’s auditory processing—resulting in better letter sound acquisition, reading achievement and focusing in noisy environments (Nina Kraus)
  • Remediates dyslexia—a rhythmic processing disorder in the brain (Usha Goswami)

Improves IQ

Builds communication skills

Raises reading and math achievement

  • Repeatedly singing and reading songs using software increases reading achievement 1 year (avg.) in 13.5 hours (Susan Homan)
  • Reading with timed same-language-subtitles on videos of musicals has dramatically raised literacy rates in India (Brij Kothari)
  • Using folk songs and singing games to practice reading and math skills raises reading and math achievement (Affirming Parallel Concepts—Elizabeth B. Olson)

Helps to learn a foreign language

  • Singing phrases in a new language doubles achievement gain (Karen M. Ludke)

Promotes health

  • Boosts IgA—a disease-fighting protein (Rob Beck)
  • Singing and playing instruments boosts IgA more than listening (Dawn Kuhn)


  • Allows stroke patients and people who stutter to speak freely (Melodic Intonation Therapy—Gottfried Schlaug)
  • Helps Parkinson’s patients walk more easily (Oliver Sacks)
  • Enlivens people with dementia and Alzheimer’s and enhances short-term and working memory (Nicholas Simmons-Stern)
  • Helps post-surgery heart patients regain lung capacity (Mehmet Oz)
  • Helps chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients improve lung capacity (Sidney De Haan)

Contact Ann Kay