“In a new study from Australia, people who regularly attend musical events and/or participate in dancing reported higher levels of well-being than those who did not,” writes Tom Jacobs in Wednesday’s (8/3) Pacific Standard (Santa Barbara, CA). “Singers felt similarly positive about their lives, so long as they were in some sort of ensemble. The findings reflect ‘the important role of engaging with music in the company of others,’ conclude Deakin University scholars Melissa Weinberg and Dawn Joseph. They report elevated levels of life satisfaction among Australians who take part in communal musical experiences.” In the study of 1,000 Australians, “published in the journal Psychology of Music … total wellbeing scores were significantly higher for people who reported that they danced or attended musical events.… The researchers found ‘people who sang with others’ … ranked statistically higher than their non-singing peers on … their standard of living, and sense of ‘community connectedness.’ … In an era when we can hear virtually any song ever written by pressing a few buttons on our phones, we still gather together in clubs and concert halls. Music very likely began as a form of tribal bonding, and it still has its greatest positive impact when it is a communal experience.”

Posted August 9, 2016