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West Midlands Barbershop Harmony Club


Why is singing good for you?

Submitted by George Badland on Thu, 19/05/2016 - 22:51

Just been watching a programme on Altzimers disease and some of the questions asked by the narrator and the answers given by the 'experts' in the disease, were quite enlightening.

We have all heard of the barbershop 'truth' that the time we spend singing doesn't count against the rest of our life haven't we. Well, whilst we have probably all said we agree with that with our tongues firmly in our cheeks, there has never been any scientific evidence that there was a grain of truth in that claim. Well now I think there is. The programme cited many 'experts' who were carrying out many different tests into the disease with people involved in the tests coming from a wide range of with differing gene pools. The results so far are obviously not completely worked through, but it is already clear that those who exercise their brains have a very clear advantage of delaying the onset of the disease over those who don't. 

For instance, educated people have a clear advantage over those less well educated. Those who speak more than one language have a clear advantage over those who speak just the one language. To me, what this message is saying is that those who exercise their brains have a clear advantage over those who do not.

So, where does barbershopping come into this? Well to me it's obvious. Learning music is similar to learning another language. Learning all the various nuances of how to perform and sing better requires all the same brain exercises of learning a new language. When you add to the the requirements we have for exercising our hearing, levels of concentration, to say nothing of the physical as well as mental exercises we have to go through, it is not surprising that the outcome is that we live longer and healthier than those who just sit and watch the TV.

So be grateful for discovering barbershop in the first place and set yourself the personal target of learning more about the art form if for no other reason than the knowledge that you will live a longer and more cogitative life.

Geo