We need to sing more.
In Charlotte, North Carolina, we have a great deal of community dialogue about bringing people together, bringing races together, building racial trust. There is no better way to bring people together than by singing!
And this is not just one person’s opinion. Recent scientific research (University of Ontario) shows that singing increases blood levels of the ‘love hormone’ oxytocin, which is released during intimacy. “Singing also increases immunity, reduces depression, improves cognitive function and mood, and increases feelings of wellbeing.”
The National Institute for Psychosocial Factors and Health, Stolkholm found in their studies that oxytocin concentrations increased significantly while singing. Groups felt more energetic and relaxed after the singing.
According to Daniel Levitin, author of This is Your Brain on Music, intimacy isn’t the only thing that leads to high levels of oxytocin. What’s the other? Singing, particularly singing with other people, causes the brain to produce unusually high levels of oxytocin. a study at the National Center for Biotechnology Information that lends credibility to this claim: when people sing together, their brains make oxytocin, and that makes them feel trust, solidarity, and connectedness with the people around them.
I lead a group of singers called Tuned In. We rehearse in the community room of McCreesh Place, an apartment community that houses disabled and formerly homeless men in permanent housing. Our singers are not only residents, but men and women from all over Charlotte – all walks of life, all races, all neighborhoods – some are government officials. We build trust and relationships through singing. We go into the community together, we fellowship together and we learn much from each other.
Join us! Or find a group where you are. Our communities and our country need for us to come together in a meaningful way.
Thomas Moore, Ph.D is a keynote speaker, workshop leader, early childhood consultant, author and children’s recording artist. He is Associate Professor Elementary, Child and Family Studies, Benedict College. Visit him at https://www.drthomasmoore.com