Does Singing Promote Well-being?: An Empirical Study of Professional and Amateur Singers During a Singing Lesson


Integrative Physiological & Behavioral Science




This study explored the possible beneficial effects of singing on well-being during a singing lesson. A battery of tests to determine physiological and emotional changes were performed on 8 amateur (aged 28-53 yrs) and 8 professional (aged 26-49 yrs) singers who had been attending singing lessons for at least six months. Heart rate variability analyses showed significant changes over time in the two groups for total power, and low and high frequency power. Power increased during singing in professionals, whereas there were no changes in amateurs. This indicates an ability to retain more 'heart-brain connection,' i.e., more cardio-physiological fitness for singing in professional singers, compared to amateur singers. Findings on physiological and emotional changes are discussed. The interviews showed that the professionals were clearly achievement-oriented, with focus on singing technique, vocal apparatus and body during the lesson. The amateurs used the singing lessons as a means of self-actualization and self-expression as a way to release emotional tensions. In summary, in this study, singing during a singing lesson seemed to promote more well-being and less arousal for amateurs compared to professional singers, who seemed to experience less well-being and more arousal. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

Music and Health Institute Terms

Heart Rate; Interviews; Mental Health; Psychological Outcomes; Recreative Music Methods; Singing a Song; Vital Signs; Wellness and Well-Being

Indexed Terms

professional singers; amateur singers; well-being; singing lessons; physiological change; emotional change; Affect; Electrocardiography; Expressed Emotion; Health; Heart Rate; Hydrocortisone; Oxytocin; Prolactin; Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha; Emotional Responses; Physiological Arousal; Singing; Well Being; Experience Level

Study Type

Case Study; Qualitative Methods

Document Type