Modern research supports an activity God has long commanded and reveals benefits He no doubt designed: Singing in a group benefits those involved by helping people bond and feel part of the group and by improving physical and mental health (The Conversation, October 28, 2015). Oxford University researchers point out that the social benefits of singing in a group, including in a choir, are “particularly valuable in today’s often-alienating world, where many of our social interactions are conducted remotely via Facebook and Twitter.”
Researchers also note that singing and making music “exercises the brain as well as the body, but singing is particularly beneficial for improving breathing, posture and muscle tension. Listening to and participating in music has been shown to be effective in pain relief, too.” Other studies suggest that music may help improve immune function by reducing stress levels and that individuals are happier after actively singing than they are when passively listening to music.
In the Bible, God encourages Christians to sing, “speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:19). The gospels tell us that Jesus Christ sang a hymn with His apostles the night before He was crucified (Matthew 26:30). Singing together has long been a part of Sabbath worship for many, and it is exciting to realize there are so many benefits to an activity that God commands in His word!