I’ve been reading a report on Arts and Health ( ) about the health benefits of a variety of artistic activities: both for therapy and disease prevention. One of the sections talked about the benefits of singing. Stuff you already know anecdotally, if you ever sing, whether in the shower (alone or with a partner), in a choir, or even on a stage. Singing, especially with other people, makes you feel good; and this report demonstrated it can also do you good. Physical as well as psychological benefits.

Yesterday, another endorsement of this most enjoyable pastime, from a totally different source and angle. The “Thought For The Day” in BBC Radio 4’s “Today” programme, started by enthusing about Venezuela’s system of youth orchestras – the best-known is the Simon Bolivar – improving the lives of hundreds of thousands of Venezuelan kids by teaching them to play classical music.

There are similar initiatives in the UK. Many of them are about singing rather than instrumental music; that avoids the cost of instruments. (Of course we are not such a rich country as Venezuela, are we?). The payback seems to have been fantastic. Check out the link; ( and go to 1 hr 49 mins)

I liked the comment of a Yorkshire primary school head teacher who reported greatly improved behaviour since class singing was prioritised. Her explanation:

“You can pay a fortune for sports equipment and coaches; one of the by-products is that the children learn to be competitive. Hire a part-time singing teacher and they learn to be cooperative.”