Improve your immune system by singing

Editor’s note: One of the good things about being an editor is receiving newsletters from other ACDA sources. This information originally appeared in Chorus America and then in the Indiana Choral Directors Association Fall issue, 2001.


The original author was Marla Jo Fisher of the Orange County Register.

Hey, here’s another good reason to sing (and to go to church)! A study done at the University of California, Irvine indicates that singing together improves your immune system.

Yes, no kidding! Here’s how they did the study.

Researchers Robert Beck, Professor of Education at UCI, in collaboration with Dr. Thomas Cesario, Dean of the UCI College of Medicine, took samples (cotton swabs) of the saliva of thirty-two volunteers who were members of the Pacific Chorale, a large choral group at Irvine. Their samples were taken over an eight week period before, during, and after rehearsals and after one performance of Beethoven’s choral masterpiece, Missa Solemnis. The levels of immunoglobulin A, an important factor in combating disease, increased 150% after rehearsals and an astounding 240% after the performance.

Beck believes that “the more passionate you feel while singing, the greater the effect.” He apparently got interested in doing actual research on the matter after reading anecdotal accounts that both going to church and playing music increase the immune response. After the study, he now speculates that singing hymns in church brings about this positive effect.


Pretty cool, huh!

For the article and other interesting details of the study itself, contact Chorus America by calling 202.331.7577 or writing to

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