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Jennifer Buchanan CD

The Value of Singing for Seniors

Just an Old Sweet SongI had so much fun recording an album this past summer with my friend Janet Fedor in Manitou Beach.  If you have not visited Manitou Saskatchewan you may want to add it to your list of “must see spots in Canada”.  The land of healing waters and in my case the Manitou Loft.

Janet’s energy is positively infectious and she was definitely the best choice to entrust this project.  With Janet behind the sound board I recorded an album I have wanted to do for a long time – songs for young seniors…..actually for anyone who has an appreciation of music from a by-gone era.  I focused mostly on the jazz standards of the day but the album’s focus was to entice people to sing along I really hope I have achieved that as research continues to support the health benefits of singing.

Working with two sample groups of 240 volunteers over 60 years old, where one group took part in weekly singing sessions over three months and the other didn’t, the research revealed an increase in the mental health component score on a validated health measure amongst the group of singers. It also revealed significantly reduced anxiety and depression scores.  To read more visit: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-08-benefits-positive-impact-health.html#jCp

“Our research has not only cemented previous studies that pointed to an increase in health benefits from community singing programs, but also demonstrated that singing programs are cost-effective,” says Professor Stephen Clift, Director of Research at the Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health. Dr John Rodriguez, Assistant Director of Public Health, NHS Kent and Medway,added: “I’m delighted to see such world-class research in this field helping to provide evidence that singing programs present a viable additional means to promoting the mental health of older people.”

There are many opportunities for people to sing – and you really don’t have to be good at it (trust me your voice actually improves the more you use it).  Janet, my engineer and her two mates Sharon and Carol are offering shows that will light up even the most grumpy…I know because I used to sing with them.  Their group tours seniors centres, lodges and community halls throughout Saskatchewan – check them out at the Three of Hearts

My other dear friend Lonnie Delisle in Vancouver is demonstrating HUGE success with his PALS Chorus.  A choir full of sassy seniors – also known as Vancouver’s hippest, non-auditioned 55+ chorus.   If you browse through the photos you will see a beautiful demonstration of what Aging Well looks like. I have added a short video clip at the end of this post so you can see their incredible show.

So the message – singing is something we can all do – from humming in the bathroom to opera on the stage.  There are many opportunities for us to connect to our music – via recording devices and singing along, to listening to a beautiful trio or joining a Chorus with like minded people.

Have Fun with your Music….and be Healthier…and Enjoy this Video:

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Jennifer Buchanan, BMT, MTA is the happy owner of JB Music Therapy and Author of TUNE IN: Use Music Intentionally to Curb Stress, Boost Morale and Restore Health. Our “Music Speaks” Blog aims to inspire you to use music with greater intention and knowledge and to hire us as required or purchase our products.

1 Comment

  • Please connect with our amazing Atlantic Integrated Research in Singing! This is specific to all ages looking for evidence based research http://www.airsplace. Check out UPEI ! Thanks for all you do! Corrine

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