UWE Bristol and St George's Bristol to launch research first into singing and wellbeing

Media Relations Team, 06 February 2024

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A choir, dressed in black, singing

Researchers at UWE Bristol are collaborating with St George’s Bristol to launch the first large-scale research project into the links between singing and wellbeing. 

The brand-new ‘Sing for Happiness’ project is aiming to build a choir of 500 or more to better understand the effects singing can have on people’s moods. 

The project will run a series of in-person rehearsals at St George’s Bristol over the spring. People from the Bristol area, whether they are singers or not, are encouraged to join the project’s group singing sessions, which will be run by experienced local choir leaders. 

Kat Branch, Head of UWE Bristol’s Centre for Music and research lead, said the project is unique in terms of size and reach: 

“We’re hoping to get as many people as possible to take part in the project – anyone can get involved. No research has been done on this scale before, and we’re really pleased to be collaborating with St George’s Bristol who have fantastic links in the Bristol community to make this happen.” 

It’s hoped the results will provide data on how singing can be used in health and wellbeing contexts such as social prescribing. 

“Singing is affordable, safe, and fun – and we hope the data this provides can be put in-front of decision makers and prove that the arts can meet urgent needs in society.” 

Samir Savant, CEO of St George’s Bristol, said: 

“Being together and sharing something joyful with like-minded people combats loneliness and depression. To this end, we’re excited to work with UWE Bristol to uncover more about the link between singing and wellbeing.

“We hope participants of all abilities will want to join in with the Sing for Happiness project to learn some fantastic songs, and contribute to this ground-breaking research, even if they’ve never sung before.” 

A holistic approach to music is something UWE Bristol champions, with its Centre for Music existing for the benefit of students and staff. It offers a variety of choirs, mini-courses, instrument lessons and more, and is free for students to access to support social and emotional health. 

Although there is a participation cost for the project, if cost is a barrier, please reach out to festivalofvoice@stgeorgesbristol.co.uk

More information on the 'Sing for Happiness' project can be found on the St George's website.

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