Ein junges Mädchen singt mit Freude.

Singing and making music: Why it’s important for us.

Singing promotes personality development. It is amazing what positive effects are associated with this.

When the virus broke out, the classrooms went quiet. No more music lessons. The children could no longer sing. Corona has also left its mark in this respect – and thus in the lives of young people. With what effect? It does matter if children learn to sing at a young age or not. Research shows: Singing and making music together not only promote musicality, but also other competencies that have a positive influence on personality development.

Singing with children: better in school through music?

In the first year of babies’ lives, singing and talking are not yet separate. Through “musilanguage” they express hunger, thirst, joy, pain or satisfaction. Later they show themselves musically – swaying, bobbing to rhythms, sounds touch them. Melody, articulation, sentence structure, tempo and stresses: Singing songs then requires an understanding of this, and concentration. Content is also taught in a playful way.

Scientists say that the formation of musicality promotes cognitive skills: Recognizing patterns and sequences, noticing differences, counting skills, and symbolic thinking. Emotional (sensation, emotional expression) and motor skills are also addressed.

The training of singing ability, write researchers of the Canto Institute after an empirical study with 500 kindergarten children, would even justify educational policy consequences: According to the study, singing promotes the physical, psychological and social development of children. Preschoolers who sing a lot are significantly more likely to be ready for school compared to preschoolers who sing little, so singing gives them a head start in education.

Singing together connects: many positive effects

However, the scientific evidence for such correlations is scanty in some respects. The belief, for example, that all music-making is associated with greater social competence or makes people more socially acceptable cannot be justified. According to the Bertelsmann Foundation, there is clear evidence of a positive correlation between musical activities and language acquisition. Recent empirical research approaches also demonstrate pro-social effects of making music together based on synchronization experience. Furthermore, there is evidence that long-term music making in childhood and adolescence (ten years and longer) can have positive influences on cognitive performance.

So there are positive transfer effects. And by the way, the proven psychological effects of singing include: Improved mood and general well-being, relaxation and stress reduction, mental activation, experience of spirituality, improved self-image and increased self-efficacy, and feelings of social connectedness. Music also helped many people get through the Corona crisis in a more relaxed way.

Emotional development: expressing feelings with music

Singing also enables people, and especially children and young people, to express their emotions in a creative and expressive way. The melodies, lyrics and the possibility of singing in different pitches and styles provide an opportunity for the development of feelings. This can help foster emotional intelligence as youth learn to recognize, name, and appropriately deal with their own emotions.

Singing is good for the body. But does singing strengthen the immune system?

This topic has also been studied by scientists and health experts in recent years. There is evidence that singing can actually have positive effects on the immune system when practiced regularly. However, the actual potential impact will be different for each person and is very individual.

Singing activates various areas in the brain that are associated with positive emotions and stress reduction. Stress is known to affect the immune system, so singing as a stress management method could indirectly help strengthen it. Another mechanism through which singing could have a positive effect on it is breathing. Singing deepens and slows breathing, which leads to better oxygenation of the body. An adequate supply of oxygen is important for the immune system, as it is needed to fight off pathogens and repair damaged cells.

In addition, singing can promote the release of endorphins, the so-called “happiness hormones.” These hormones not only help improve mood, but can also support the immune system by promoting anti-inflammatory processes in the body. So, in summary, you could say that music does you good. Singing can even promote health.

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