Sing to strengthen the immune system

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Singing has positive effects on the immune system

Singing strengthens the immune system, explained Professor Dr. Eckart Altenmüller, director of the Institute for Music Physiology and Musicians' Medicine at the University of Music, Drama and Media (HMTM) in Hanover, opposite the news agency "dpa". For example, singers are less likely to suffer from colds in winter.

According to the expert, singing in a choir can strengthen the immune system and also requires the release of positive emotion hormones. For the music physiologist Professor Dr. Altenmüller singing is quite comparable to sport and has correspondingly positive effects on health.

Distribution of positive emotion hormones and strengthening of the immune system
As the oldest instrument in the world, the voice has been used in singing for thousands of years. But even today, researchers are still discovering new effects of singing on the human organism. Professor Dr. summarizes the current state of research on the health effects of singing. Altenmüller summarized as follows: "Choral singing leads to the release of a whole range of positive emotion hormones through the activation of breathing, the control of the respiratory muscles and last but not least through the shared experience." Oxytocin, "as well as the classic happiness hormones, the endorphins." Furthermore, "when singing, immunoglobolin is formed - that means: singing strengthens the body's defenses," continued Altenmüller. This is also the reason why "singers in amateur and amateur choirs, for example, rarely get a cold in winter," explained the medical professor.

Sing as a physical workout?
On the physical challenge of singing, explained Prof. Dr. Altenmüller that "singing and playing music can be very exhausting". A professional musician "has more stress during a concert than the pilot of a jet plane while flying," emphasized the director of the Institute for Music Physiology and Musicians Medicine at the HHMTM. Because musicians have to "foresee and monitor every movement, every sound over several hours", while on the airplane, as soon as it is in the air, "the autopilot is usually switched on," Altenmüller continues. As a result, singing could also be seen as a form of physical training.

Choral singing is not particularly popular with young people
The health benefits of singing presented by Prof. Altenmüller suggest that many more people should sing in a choir. But fewer and fewer young people actually join a choir. "Singing with others is often shameful for young people," explained the expert in this connection. In boys in particular, “the voice indicates sexual maturity during puberty, which is uncomfortable for many,” says Prof. Altenmüller. According to the music physiologist, the "success of many casting shows shows how great the vocal interest in young people is still." According to the specialist, the problem may also be with the music on offer. What the young people “mostly don't like very much is classical singing that goes in the direction of high culture: opera and choir singing. This is considered by many to be too unnatural, ”said Altenmüller. (fp)

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Image: Paul-Georg Meister /

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