Choirs and Mindfulness

Mindfulness has been a fruitful area of scientific study in recent years, and of formal religious study for thousands.

Recently, an article gained popularity in choral circles with the headline, “Choral Singing Boosts Mindfulness,” and the sub-headline, “New research points to one reason joining a choir boosts mental health.”

Well, of course it does.

Try spending more than a few minutes taking care to produce consistent vowels, consonants, and resonance, while navigating tricky alto lines, in German, while expressing the emotion of a language you don’t speak, and making sure you are locking dynamics, phrasing, breaths, and intonation with the other singers in the room.

There is simply no choice to remain in the moment. There is simply no choice, in an effective choral rehearsal, than to get better at mindfulness.

Choral music is meditative. But more important, the very act of creating music with a group, both in performance and in rehearsal, requires a mediative state.