- Renée Coventry
A Reason to Sing!
Along with Harvard, many European countries are studying the effects of singing on people's overall well-being and health. It has long been known that singing elevates and lifts our spirits. How many of us have entered a worship service feeling morose and down and then left encouraged and more optimistic about our life circumstances. Now we are finding out why.
According to Harvard Health, which cites German researchers, the results of group singing "show benefits for mood, stress levels, and even the immune system." This research is confirmed by McGill University's studies on the neurochemistry of music in Ontario, Canada. Additionally, specific to neurological disorders, it was discovered that singing regulated speech, provided long-term changes within the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems, and has even been used to stimulate memories in Alzheimer patients. This is not new to scientists. Pythagoras claimed that God's creation is His orchestra that spans throughout the universe. When David placed the Ark within the tent in I Chronicles 16:30-33, creation was admonished to
"Tremble before Him, all the earth; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved. Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; and let them say among the nations, 'The LORD reigns.' Let the sea roar, and all it contains; Let the field exult, and all that is in it. Then the trees of the forest will sing for joy before the LORD, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting."
One interesting theory on why singing contains healing properties is that "The organ of the human voice is located right next to the thyroid gland, the accelerator of certain important body functions. To a greater or less degree every word you speak vibrates the cells up and down the body, from front brain to abdomen."
Throughout the history of the world, God has encouraged us to respond to life with song. Given the benefits, it's easy to understand why. Historically, the people of Israel sang throughout their feasts. In Psalms, there is a unique collection of songs sung over one thousand years (excluding the Babylonian captivity), specifically during Passover, the Feast of Weeks (our Pentecost), and the Feast of Tabernacles.
Over the next several weeks, we will study these memorable songs and how, by degrees, they ushered the children of Israel into God's presence. Is it possible that there is something we can learn about coming into God's presence that, while not a formula, will inform our worship today, bringing insight and revelation to our lives? Come and explore with me the Songs of Ascent, and let’s sing!
 In Brief: Sing along for health - Harvard Health
 Clinical Research on the Benefits of Singing (singfit.com)
 The Music of the Spheres, or The Metaphysics of Music – Future Symphony Institute