Singing in choir strikes healthy note, study says
Orange County Register
March 31, 2001
Calif. - Singing in a choir may just make you healthier, according to a
study by the University of California, Irvine.
Researchers at the school found increased levels of disease-fighting
proteins in the mouths of choir members after they sang Beethoven's
choral masterwork, the Missa Solemnis.
According to the study, a protein used by the immune system to fight
disease called immunoglobulin A increased 150 percent during rehearsals
and 240 percent during performance. The boost seemed directly related to
the singers' states of mind, which many participants described as happy
"The more passionate you feel while singing, the greater the effect,"
said education Professor Robert Beck, who authored the study with Thomas
Cesario, dean of the university's College of Medicine. The study was
published this school year in the scientific journal Music Perception.
The difference in the increased levels between a performance and
rehearsal, scientists theorized, may be because the singers had achieved
mastery of the complicated piece after often-stressful rehearsals and
were enjoying the thrill of the performance itself.