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Can choir singing reduce depression and increase quality of life in middle aged people? A research project with qEEG testing

Can choir singing reduce depression and increase quality of life in middle aged people? A research project with qEEG testing

Midlife depression could be a significant precursor to later life limitations. Psychosocial efforts to reduce target symptoms of chronic somatic and mental health problems may lead to a decrease in lowered quality of life. Midlife is a powerful time for the expression of human potential because it combines the capacity for insightful reflection with a powerful desire to create meaning in life. The current study examined whether symptoms of depression, traumatic stress and anxiety in middle age can be ameliorated through a choir program. 

Thirty-two community dwelling middle aged volunteers were tested for depression, post traumatic stress, wellbeing and quality of life before and after the intervention of choir singing. A mixed methods quasi-experimental design was used in which an experimental choir group of twenty one participants was compared to a wait list control group of eleven subjects after random selection. Nine participants from the choir were randomly selected for quantum electronencephalogram testing (qEEG) pre and post the intervention. 

This was to ascertain whether the choir program could create any positive changes in brain wave frequencies when compared to the pre/post psychometric tests. The choir program included insight meditation, physical and singing exercises and learning new song material. Social interaction was encouraged during and after each practice session. The study was for eight weeks.

Preliminary data indicated a positive trend towards confirming the hypothesis that choir singing can reduce depression and create harmonic hemispheric symmetry. Further data will be reported with this paper along with video excerpts to illustrate salient aspects of the findings. Singing is a powerful ‘dreaming’ modality in which a person may discover positive insights and worldview perceptions. Chronic health problems including mental issues may show improvements as a result of the choral program. Singing, meditation and social interactions can facilitate happiness and feelings of wellbeing.

Areas of Interest / Categories: Anxiety, Dreams, EEG, Meditation, WCP 2011

WCP 2011

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