Music ‘gives body a tune-up’
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.