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Videos: Singing at church may reduce anxiety, study finds

Keith Lancaster, a cappella “musicianary” and founder of the vocal group Acappella, sent us a link from the Huffington Post about the possible medical benefits of choir singing.
“People ask me, ‘You are with the Church of Christ. You don’t believe in having a choir?'” Lancaster told us. “My response is, ‘The entire church is our choir.'”
“I thought this article was interesting about the benefits of choir singing — which would apply to vibrant, congregational singing when everyone participates,” he said.
From the report:

Members of an a cappella group from the Lusaka Central Church of Christ in Zambia rehearse for a performance during the Africans Claiming Africa for Christ conference in 2012. (Photo by Erik Tryggestad)

Whether it’s an a cappella group or the church chorale, a small new study shows that singing in a choir could do a lot for your state of mind.
The findings, published in the journal Psychology of Music and conducted by researchers at Abant Izzet Baysal University in Turkey, show that singing in a choir is associated with decreased levels of anxiety.
The study included 35 people who were assigned to either one hour of choir singing, or one hour of “unstructured time” (the control group). Researchers analyzed their positive and negative affect, as well as their levels of anxiety and salivary amylase (amylase is an enzyme that is often used as a marker for inflammation).
Researchers found that the participants assigned to sing in the choir had decreases in their negative affect and anxiety, compared with the control group. Meanwhile, the control group experienced more anxiety and negative affect before and after the hour period.

Read the full story.
Here are a few more videos, featuring a cappella worship and choral singing from around the globe.
May they decrease your levels of salivary amylase.


  • Feedback
    Because we moved to an area without a Church of Christ, we are driving 40 miles to attend a conservative Christian Church, but they do use a piano or background instrumental music to sing. I have also helped at a Bible camp up here that is also instrumental. Do you know how that hinders spontaneity?
    I also counsel for a Church of Christ camp in Kansas, and you cannot beat the singing at night out under the stars. No need to ask if somebody with an instrument can play the song. Instead, you just sing and sing and sing to God, four parts, goose-bumps. God has to love it! The others just don’t “get it”!
    Linda Hamm
    May, 9 2013

    I love Acappella group too! Do you have news on it?
    Relate4ever Publishing
    May, 9 2013

    There’s nothing that compares to the experience of joyful singing with people who engage wholeheartedly. I’m so glad that God did not limit the command of singing to only those professionally trained in voice or who have studied music. “Is anyone happy, let them sing songs of praise.”
    Keith Lancaster
    May, 9 2013

    The joy of singing Praises to our Maker is healing, and uplifting. The joy of sharing that with the entire congregation makes it an even greater blessing. When we all join as one, we share in the blessing and are filled with the joy of our Lord. Praise cannot be a spectator sport, but is a participation event. I like to think that we are all just practicing for that time when we can spend eternity around His throne in constant Singing of Praises…
    John Shipley
    May, 9 2013

    I own 240 acres near El Paso, Arkansas. I love to take a song book and go down on a creek bottom and sing. I always feel better and I also learn new songs. With a mountain and bluffs across the creek, I cannot get better accoustics. I have to take a gun with me because we have mountain lions, wild hogs and snakes in that area. In fact, while singing “You’ve got to Take the Lord With You” while digging rocks in the creek bed, I almost stepped on a water moccassin that fortunately crawled away. It is worth that effort to be able to feel better after singing in a quiet, isolated area like that. God is everywhere!
    I love to get a CD and listen and sing along to songs. I go on one-day vacations and singing along with a CD not only helps me relax and drive. but it leads to me praying often while I drive. Highway 65 in north Arkansas is my favorite highway to pray when coming back on an annual one-day trip to Branson and Springfield, Missouri.
    It is not suprising that the two places I most like to sing are also the two places I like pray and meditate.
    Johnny Mullens
    May, 9 2013

    Wonderful findings that resonate in the experience of many Christians whether they sing a-capella (like my congregation) or use guitars or pipe organs. (I wonder if wild drumming leads to the same anxiety reduction!?). Where the style of music is a bone of contention, I imagine these benefits are limited. Where the music reflects any kind of arrogance i.e. an unfounded sense of superiority, it should not reduce anxiety.
    May, 9 2013

    As a member of the latest praise and harmony team and a “lifer” in the church of Christ, I took for granted the power and the simplicity of a capella singing. While working on these two cds it hit me what a gift the Lord gave us with our voice. We can worship him anywhere, anytime, with anyone. I can sing with my brothers and sisters anywhere. We are not dependent on any building, any person; we just praise the Lord. What a gift. “Bless the Lord Oh My Soul. . . “
    Kelly Wilkinson
    May, 9 2013

    What a gift the Lord has blessed us ALL with…a voice to sing His praises. He did not create certain people to sing to Him, but ALL of us to lift our voices to Him. You may think you can’t sing, but it is all beautiful music to our Lord when you praise His name. Why wouldn’t singing be “good for your health?” Music and singing makes everyone feel good, and our Father loves to hear us praise His name with our lips. 🙂 We should make a joyful noise to Him every day.
    Julie Tracy
    May, 9 2013

    I relate Johnny Mullins! I went to our cabin alone recently in SE Oklahoma and stayed the entire weekend. My worship on Sunday was attended by myself, a river otter, many birds. Our cabin sits on a creek between two mountains (hills) and you can hear folks speaking from peak to peak when others are there. With the old hymnal we keep at the cabin, I sang by myself for an hour or so, songs I haven’t heard in my local church in Allen, TX in years! Songs I long for each and every Sunday, but don’t get. I can’t tell you the joy I had. The more I sang, the louder I got! I LONG for the day the microphones are turned off in our congregations, and we can actually hear congregational singing. Unfortunately, where I attend you can look around and see many folks not singing at all as they don’t know many of the songs now led, or the songs aren’t simple enough musically to sing, etc. They may sound great on the radio, but not so easy in the big room!
    Sounded great K. Lancaster! Enjoyed listening.
    Chris Ishmael
    May, 10 2013

    @Kelly Wilkinson, It is so neat to hear that you got to be a part of the Praise and Harmony team. I would love to be involved in something like that! I grew up singing in the Church of Christ, singing in show choirs, musicals and chorus in H.S., an singing with the Acappella chorus at David Lipscomb University. I really do miss singing. I mean really singing. At our conservative church you can only show so much emotion, if you know what I mean. I have one of the Praise and Harmony CD’s and sometimes I put it on in the van and just sing my little heart out! 🙂 I’m so thankful to Keith Lancaster for his ministry!
    Lisa Carden
    May, 10 2013

    The apostolic pointer to appropriate Christian assemblies is in 1 Corinthians 14:26. He suggests that “each” has a song or lesson or exhortation to share in the assembly of Christians. What I especially do not like in congregational singing is the use of drums to “accompany” the singing. Best is when all the people present take part in producing the harmony and message of good gospel songs. I enjoy now each Sunday and Wednesday afternoon at Spring River Christian Village in Joplin, Missouri leading an a-cappella hymn sing with usually 12 or 13 present in a reasonably small room with each person free to select a song for us all to sing.
    Ray Downen
    May, 10 2013

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