Mu­sic ‘gives body a tune-up’

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS -

ONE of Aus­tralia’s most sig­nif­i­cant and in­spi­ra­tional voices in mu­sic ed­u­ca­tion de­scended on Wes­ley Col­lege this month.

Richard Gill vis­ited the South Perth­based school to lead WA’s big­gest spon­ta­neous singing event with about 500 staff mem­bers and stu­dents. The cel­e­brated con­duc­tor and ed­u­ca­tor con­ducted three days of work­shops and pre­sented a sem­i­nar that dis­cussed the im­por­tance of creativ­ity for brain devel­op­ment, health and well­be­ing.

Re­search from the Royal Col­lege of Mu­sic in Lon­don has shown singing in a choir for just an hour can boost the im­mune sys­tem, re­duce stress and im­prove moods.

Ten­ovus Cancer Care di­rec­tor of re­search and pol­icy Ian Lewis co-au­thored the re­search and said the new links be­tween singing and health were very ex­cit­ing.

“We have been build­ing a body of ev­i­dence over the past six years to show that singing in a choir can have a range of so­cial, emo­tional and psy­cho­log­i­cal ben­e­fits, and now we can see it has bi­o­log­i­cal ef­fects too,” Dr Lewis said.

“We’ve long heard anec­do­tal ev­i­dence that the im­mune sys­tem can be af­fected by singing, it’s really ex­cit­ing and could en­hance the way we sup­port peo­ple with cancer in the fu­ture.”

The study also found those with the low­est men­tal well­be­ing and high­est lev­els of de­pres­sion ex­pe­ri­enced the great­est im­prove­ment as­so­ci­ated with lower lev­els of in­flam­ma­tion in the body.

Richard Gill leads Wes­ley Col­lege teach­ers dur­ing his work­shop.

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