Research and Resources

On this page, we’re starting to build a list of links to published research, or evidence from people’s own experiences, of the benefits of singing for particular physical and mental health conditions.  There’s so much out there so this is just the tip of the iceberg!  But we do hope you find this helpful.

Singing is good for you – FACT!  Read this leaflet about the ways in which singing is good for your health and wellbeing (produced by the British Voice Association (PDF)).

General information about the voice (leaflets provided by the British Voice Association):

Muscle Tension Dysphonia (PDF)

The Voice & Ageing (PDF)

The Effects of Stress and Emotion on the Voice (PDF)

Singing for better lung health:

Information from the British Lung Foundation – how singing can improve your breathing

Latest research on the benefits of ‘Singing for Breathing’ by the Sidney De Haan Research Centre for the Arts and Health (Published June 2017)

This ‘Singing for Lung Health’ (SLH) Systematic Review and Consensus Statement by the British Lung Foundation outlines the benefits of singing in terms of physical, psychological and social benefits. It is based on a review of research studies on the subject and written by a group of respiratory physicians, physiotherapists, nurses, health psychologists and music therapists.

Great video on people’s experiences of Singing for Breathing in Cambridge

Breathe yourself better! Simple breathing exercises and techniques (PDF)

Mental health benefits associated with group singing:

Research conducted by the UEA and Sing Your Heart Out (SYHO)

Benefits of singing for people living with Parkinson’s and their carers:

‘Singing and people with Parkinson’s’ report (PDF) published by the Sidney de Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health, Canterbury Christchurch University in 2012.

The Skylark’s Singing Group in Kent – watch this inspiring video relaying the benefits members have experienced by taking part!

Article in ‘Medical News Today’ 2016

An inspiring short video produced by the ‘Sing Out’ project (Youtube)

Great video about Sing to Beat Parkinson’s and associated research.

Singing/music and people living with dementia:

Information published by Age UK on the role of music for people living with dementia

BBC Radio interview: Dr Joseph Jebelli -“This is the reason people with Alzheimer’s can’t smell peanut butter…” Dr Jebelli discusses his new book ‘In Pursuit of Memory – The Fight Against Alzheimer’s’.

McDermott et al. (2013) “The importance of music for people with dementia: the perspectives of people with dementia, family carers, staff and music therapists, Aging & Mental Health, Vol. 18, 2014 (6).

BBC Music website offers dementia lifeline – by Mark Savage, BBC Music Reporter, 28 September 2018.

Gallego, M.G. & Garcia, J.G. (2017), “Music therapy and Alzheimer’s disease: Cognitive, psychological, and behavioural effects“, Neurología (English Edition), Vol. 32 (5), 2017, Pages 300-308.  This article also talks about how music therapy has been shown to alleviate depression, anxiety, hallucinations and mobility problems in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s.

Music Memories website by the BBC

Singing for people who have been affected by a stroke:

Read about the experiences of the The North West Community Stroke Choir is a Stroke Association Voluntary Group.  Roll on our new group in Swaffham, Norfolk!  This is being set up by a Communication Support Coordinator for the Stroke Association. Contact us to find out more.

Read about the experiences of The Stroke a Chord choir

BBC News article – “Finding their voice: How stroke survivors can sing” – One Voice, Birmingham.

“Singing after stroke? Why rhythm and formulaic phrases may be more important than melody” (Science Daily, 2011)

Learn more about aphasia from this BBC programme about the challenges for people living with aphasia as a result of having a stroke.  This demonstrates the importance of helping stroke survivors build confidence and reduce anxiety about communicating with others.  Having supportive social situations that provide the opportunity for people to be around others and ‘practice’ communicating is extremely important for the recovery process.


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