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Dear <<First Name>>,

Can you remember the first friend you made in a choir? 

This week is all about the Social #BenefitsOfSinging! Collective singing truly has the power to unite us all despite our differences! No matter who you are and where you're from, we can experience an intense bonding feeling through song!

Singing in a choir or a group is beneficial in a number of different ways. We’ve published research that reveals that group singing not only helps forge social bonds, it also does so particularly quickly, acting as an excellent icebreaker. We’ve also shown that community singing is effective for bonding large groups, making it an ideal behavior to improve our broader social networks. This is particularly valuable in today’s often alienating world, where many of our social interactions are conducted remotely online. 

The facts are right here: singing enhances the sense of social inclusion! Furthermore, singing not only sharpens our social skills but it also improves our communication skills.
Singing improves your health, happiness and is the perfect icebreaker!
Also, today is the first of our four Social Media Days during the campaign!
 
Post this picture >> on your channels and tag your choir friends! 

Upcoming Social Media Days:
  • Physical Benefits (9 June)
  • Psychological Benefits (30 June)
  • Educational Benefits (14 July)
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You may wonder now, what are the social #BenefitsOfSinging?
'' I remember singing a song with my dear friend, sitting next to him at his bed. We sang Gøta from The Real Group. It brought joy to his eyes and connected us deeply. I will never forget this moment. And sometimes I am hearing my friend again, singing this song from heaven down to us. That warms my heart and makes me smile again.'' - Nina

Enhanced sense of social inclusion

As part of a wider evaluation of a national, Government-sponsored music education initiative for Primary-aged children in England (“Sing Up”), an opportunity was taken by the authors to assess any possible relationship between children's developing singing behaviour and development and their social inclusion (sense of self and of being socially integrated). Subsequently, it was possible to match data from over 6000 participants, in terms of each child's individually assessed singing ability (based on their singing behaviour of two well-known songs to create a “normalized singing score”) and their written responses to a specially-designed questionnaire that included a set of statements related to children's sense of being socially included to which the children indicated their level of agreement on a seven-point Likert scale. Data analyses suggested that the higher the normalized singing development rating, the more positive the child's self-concept and sense of being socially included, irrespective of singer age, sex, and ethnicity.

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Can you remember the Singing Balconies starting in Italy in 2020? 
This remains to this day a message of human solidarity in the face of adversity.

Improved social skills

In this semi-naturalistic study, authors followed newly formed singing and non-singing adult education classes over seven months. Participants rated their closeness to their group and their effect and were given a proxy measure of endorphin release, before and after their class, at three-time points (months 1, 3, and 7). It is shown that singers experienced much faster bonding: singers demonstrated a significantly greater increase in closeness at timepoint 1, but the more gradual increase shown by non-singers caught up over time. This represents the first evidence for an ‘ice-breaker effect’ of singing in promoting fast cohesion between unfamiliar individuals, which bypasses the need for personal knowledge of group members gained through prolonged interaction. It further discusses that singing may have evolved to quickly bond large human groups of relative strangers, potentially through encouraging willingness to coordinate by enhancing positive affect.

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Better communication skills

This chapter examines the growing evidence for musical communication as integral to human vocalization and emotional expression. Human vocalization contains key essences of our musical development and fosters our earliest abilities to communicate musically. Speech melodies are the first linguistic elements experienced and mastered and are indistinguishable from the melodic precursors of singing as essential elements in intra- and inter-personal musical communication. Singing as communication originates in vocal pitch contours whose musical intervals are exploited by caregivers in an infant-directed speech to foster language development. Similar, but more explicit, features are evidenced in caregivers’ infant-directed singing, such as in lullabies and play songs. Additionally, the underlying integration of emotion with perception and cognition generates a network of linked vocal and emotional behaviors that are central to human communication.

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Have you experienced the social benefits of singing? 

Think of the moments you’ve been singing a song together with your friends, your fellow choristers, your family. Can you remember what song it was?
Can you remember how it made you feel?

Share your story with us by writing us an email with the subject line ”My #BenefitsOfSinging” at communication@europeanchoralassociation.org.

#BenefitsOfSinging Online Campaign 
The #BenefitsOfSinging campaign toolkit is designed to  provide the necessary elements to support the #BenefitsOfSinging campaign.  Use the contents, action proposals and graphic elements of this toolkit to join forces and take coordinated action for a coherent, impactful campaign.

Discover: 
Link the #BenefitsOfSinging campaign to your activities

We strongly encourage you to develop an individualized, national/regional call to action and link it to any existing activity you’re already engaging in. Develop your own call to action, which should answer your audience's question: Singing is good for me, what can I do now to experience the benefits of collective singing?

For organisationsread more (direct your audience to relevant articles to your website), become a member (invite your audience to join your organisation as a member), donate, join this event/online event (invite your audience to a relevant event);

For choirs: join our choir,  join an online singing session, support us,  join an event;

For Individuals: check out this article, read about this event I’ve been part of and liked, share a video of yourself and your own experience with the benefits of collective singing.
How can you contribute?

Translate the campaign contents

This way the message will come across more easily. New languages will be added to our website as soon as they are made available.

Link your own content to the campaign

Do you have your own pictures/videos showcasing the benefits of collective singing either through a previous event, an interview, a documentary series? Link them to the campaign.

Multiply and reach out

In order to reach as many people as possible, we would encourage you to multiply the messages of the campaign in your country during the campaign run. 

Interact and use the #BenefitsOfSinging hashtag

Use the #BenefitsOfSinging hashtag when tweeting, posting, and sharing any posts about the campaign.

And at last, to inspire you:
A Miracle: Singing Together - Even at Home by MAGMA & Boğaziçi Caz Korosu, Turkey, winners of the European Video Award 2021.
The #BenefitsOfSinging campaign is organised by the European Choral Association - Europa Cantat ’,co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.
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This communication reflects the views of the European Choral Association - Europa Cantat(ECA-EC) only and the European Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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Do you have any questions regarding the #BenefitsOfSinging campaign?
Just write to:
estera.mihaila@europeanchoralassociation.org.