Choir praises show’s findings

Choir leader Jennifer Sim (pictured back right) with Rock Choir members.
Choir leader Jennifer Sim (pictured back right) with Rock Choir members.

The Milngavie branch of Rock Choir is singing the praises of a recent BBC programme which highlighted the health benefits of music.

Britain’s largest contemporary amateur choir, Rock Choir was the focus of a new experiment on the BBC Music Day Special ‘Trust Me I’m a Doctor’ where presenter Dr Michael Mosley teamed up with experts at the University of Nottingham along with members of the local Derby Rock Choir to put singing, dancing and cycling to the test.

His objective was to find out if any of these activities boosted our levels of Endocannabinoids – neurotransmitters thought to be the cause of the ‘natural high’.

As well as giving a ‘buzz’, the chemicals are linked to improving mood and reducing anxiety and stress. Under the direction of physiologist Dr Saoirse O’Sullivan, the choir members were tested in each activity over four days with interviews and blood taken to monitor their levels of Endocannabinoids.

The end result showed that while dancing and cycling raised their happiness levels by 20 per cent, singing raised them by 40 per cent.

The Milngavie Rock Choir was set up by Jennifer Sim in 2011 and now has more than 75 members who meet every Thursday at the Nuffield Health, Milngavie during termtime.

Jennifer said: “I’m very lucky to do what i do as it’s such a rewarding job. The members love getting together every week and singing as a choir -not to mention the social element as well, its a great way to meet new friends too.”

Rock Choir is an award-winning choir that offers local contemporary group-singing to more than 400 communities country-wide.

Since its creation in 2005 it has offered its members exciting and life-affirming experiences that have led to an increase in health and well-being, a busy social life, new friends and extraordinary experiences.

It changed the musical landscape of the country allowing anyone to take part without the need to audition or read music and it its popularity has now grown to include 28,000 members nationwide.

Members of Jennifer’s Rock Choirs joined over 10,000 of their fellow ‘Rockies’ recently by travelling to London’s Hyde Park to take part in the capital’s largest-ever singing flash mob led from the stage by founder Caroline Redman Lusher and her team of Choir Leaders as part of the BBC Proms in the Park Event.