Making friends: how choirs build social bonds

Singing is incredibly vulnerable. We all want to be able to hold a perfect note, and the ability to produce a little melody on command is infinitely cool. However, many of us haven’t yet learned to use our voices effectively and thus we hide them away. We identify with out voices immensely, so when our voice is less than perfect we feel that we are less than perfect. A report in the American Psychology found out that we actually express more emotion with our voice than our face so it’s no wonder we want to guard them a little.

Singing in a group, like a choir, means letting people in a little and breaks down that social barrier. This is why choirs become tight-knit social groups. In a choir, everyone has seen everyone else share a little of themselves and it’s all okay! Choirs show that it’s okay to be vulnerable around some people and help you step outside your comfort zone and meet people halfway.

Some people retreat to the back and try to hide when they sing but the physical structure of the choir (the way people stand in a group for maximum impact) means that option isn’t available. This is another way that choirs demonstrate that they are safe spaces.

We’ve spoken before about how singing releases endorphins to the body (happy chemicals). As well as making you feel better, it also means everyone else is in that same state of happiness. As the stress of the world outside the choir fades away, everyone is their best self, making interactions between choir members naturally more positive. The other chemical released while singing is oxytocin, the hormone associated with feelings of unity and trust.

Lastly, and possibly the most powerful way that choirs dissolve social boundaries, working in a team is a sure fire way to build ties. Everyone in the room has the same goal, to make the best sounding music with their voices. Most people in choirs have doubts about their voices but they are also naturally attracted to working with others (natural team players).

If you want to come and experience the fantastic social upsides to joining a choir, we meet every Tuesday during term time, from 7;30pm to 9:30pm at Walpole Bay hotel in Cliftonville.