Gone are the days where people sing only in private. While group singing has been around for hundreds of years, it had gone relatively out of fashion until recently.
While lots of people enjoy singing, fears around how their singing voices are perceived by others may have prevented them from being vocal, or resorting to only singing when alone. This has meant that many adults haven’t sung since they were in school.
Yet communal singing is becoming a trending hobby across the world, including in cities like Sydney. The drop-in choir gives people the opportunity to sing with others as they feel like it, without having to commit long-term. This suits the demands of the busy lives of city-goers.
The popularity of communal singing in Sydney can be seen across the city. The Sydney Opera House hosts communal singing sessions throughout the year and tends to sell out. The Welcome Choir in Newtown has been operating for just two years, with the aim of offering musical education and social support for lonely city-goers.
And karaoke nights at local pubs across Sydney are often packed.
Besides carrying a unique sound that you can’t get singing solo, studies have shown group singing to be good for mental and physical health. It reduces stress, improves lung capacity and breathing, boosts the immune system and mood, and facilitates social bonding.
Singing in a group can also help combat loneliness and works as a great ice-breaker between strangers. It is increasingly being used to assist people with mental health issues, as well as the elderly.
In the right environment, communal singing can be low pressure and offer a supportive, inclusive, relaxed space for people to have fun and connect with others.
And of course, group singing is an effective way to build a sense of community.