Study Shows Positive Impacts of Singing
It’s no secret that music is good for your brain. A Chorus America study found that, while participation in a chorus has benefits for everyone, it seems to have a particularly meaningful effect on children. Children who participate in a chorus were found to achieve more highly in school compared to classmates who weren’t involved in chorus – a statistical representation of the deep learning that chorus participation promotes.
In addition to the learning-based benefits of singing in a chorus, being a part of a singing group helps to ward off chemicals that can cause depression and loneliness. Generally seen as a major benefit for adults, the natural production of extra endorphins and oxytocin (a chemical that decreases stress and anxiety) as a result of singing certainly has benefits for children, too. A singing child is likely to be calm and happy more often than not thanks to the chemicals that choral singing helps to release in their bodies.
Whether your family is made up of chorus participants or not, the holiday season presents a myriad of opportunities to explore choral music in many forms. From vespers services to community caroling, December is jam-packed with chances for families to sink their teeth into choral music – and to perhaps become inspired to participate themselves! Whether or not your children seem to be musically inclined, choral music is worth exploring – especially this time of year. Families can choose from grand college performances, community concerts, informal carol sings, and other exciting musical events through the coming weeks, and can learn about many different types of music and choral performance by attending a concert! Here are a few coming up this holiday season:
Wednesday, December 9, 2015. 3:30pm: Join “The Jolly Jinglers,” for some fun holiday songs at the Westhampton Public Library. This delightful group of children is led by Heather Paul. 413-527-5386. Community Room, 1 North Road, Westhampton, MA. (FREE)
Wednesday, December 9, 2015. 6:30pm: The Northampton Community Music Center invites you to its 13th annual Holiday Choral Festival, featuring performances by Rock Voices, Luna, the Northamptones, High Definition, the Ku’umba Women’s Choir, the Hartsbrook Choir, and the Hilltown Cooperative Charter School Chorus. Proceeds benefit the NCMC’s scholarship fund. 413-585-0001. Helen Hills Chapel, 123 Elm Street, Northampton, MA. ($ SUGGESTED DONATION)
Saturday, December 12, 4pm: Enjoy Christmas carols and holiday cheer with your neighbors at Williamsburg Congregational Church’s Caroling on the Green, outside Florence Savings Bank. Come for carols, cocoa, and horse-drawn wagon rides. A great way to celebrate the holidays with your community! 413-268-7557. 85 Main Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)
Sunday, December 13, 2015. 2pm: The all-women Berkshire Concert Choir will perform “Voices of Christmas,” followed a Victorian tea, at Ventfort Hall. Known throughout the county for their joy of singing, the group will be led by conductor Paula Nuss and accompanied by Aurora Cooper, as they perform a wide range of traditional Christmas songs. Reservations recommended. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street, Lenox, MA. ($$-$$$)
Sunday, December 13, 4pm: The First Church of Deerfield will hold A Community Service of Lessons and Carols, including readings from Hebrew, Christian, and other religious traditions, choral and instrumental music, and a Christmas-carol sing. Choirs from Deerfield Academy, The Bement School, and The First Church of Deerfield will participate. 413-773-5323. 71 Old Main Street, Deerfield, MA.
Sunday, December 13, 2015. 4pm & 7:30pm: Mount Holyoke‘s annual Christmas Vespers is a time-honored musical tradition and a popular event, drawing many community members of all ages and faiths. This year’s performance will include a candlelight processional and community carol singing. The college’s Chamber Singers, Chorale, Glee Club, Vocal & Chamber Jazz ensembles, and the English Handbell Ensemble will all contribute their talents to this beautiful musical event. 413-538-2000. Abbey Chapel, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA. (FREE)
Sunday, December 13, 2015. 4pm: The First Church of Deerfield will hold A Community Service of Lessons and Carols, including readings from Hebrew, Christian, and other religious traditions, choral and instrumental music, and a Christmas-carol sing. Choirs from Deerfield Academy, The Bement School, and The First Church of Deerfield will participate. 413-773-5323. 71 Old Main Street, Deerfield, MA.
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