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Making Sense of Group Singing
Transcript of Making Sense of Group Singing
A collaboration "with partners and citizens to create various global projects that aim to explore connections to people and to place, and go beyond the surface appearance to something deeper."
The project uses the rich multi-media evironment of Sensemaker® (Snowden n.d.) to guide participants in documenting their engagement with music by collecting 'micro-narratives' of their experience: fragments of text, images, audio/visual recordings, and anecdotes. These are then interpreted by the participants themselves through a process of self-signification against a set of variables determined through a critical review of literature pertaining to the field, resulting in rich qualitative and quantitative data, whilst minimising the bias associated with traditional forms of social research.
Qual + clusters of 'quant'
"The challenge is not to assert the importance of experiences, but to demonstrate empirically the extent to which they may ground cultural value."
(Crossick & Kaszynska 2016, p.22)
"imperative to reposition first-hand, individual experience of arts and culture at the heart of enquiry into cultural value" (p.7)
"Despite the big strides made by cultural organisations in the last decade or so, in making their case for investment, there has remained a sense that we are lacking robust methodologies for demonstrating the value of the arts and culture, and for showing exactly how public funding of them contributes to wider social and economic goals." (p.4)
Dr. Dave Camlin
"The committee discussed the evidence on singing and noted that it is unclear whether it is the singing itself that produces the benefit, the group-based nature of the activity or
. But members agreed that the evidence (evidence statement 1.1.5) demonstrated a clear benefit."
How much of the perceived wellbeing 'effect' of group singing (and perhaps music more generally) is attributable to the experience of interpersonal neurobiological synchronisation?
Is this effect enhanced when musical entrainment is also at its strongest?
How does the experience of group singing compare between groups of singers in different social, cultural, therapeutic or geographical contexts?
Are the perceived eudaemonic benefits of group singing a universal experience?
What conditions support the realisation of those benefits most effectively?
Communities of Practice
UK Community Choirs:
Mouthful choirs: Sing Owt! / Voicebeat / Phoenix Voices / ESOL Choir
Natural Voice Network
Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh, UK
Trauma / Mental Health Recovery within UK NHS Trusts:
Northumberland Tyne and Wear
Tees, Esk and Wear Valley
Blue Light Choir (NE Emergency Services / MIND UK)
Homeless choirs in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (People’s Palaces Projects)
Youth Choirs in Sao Paulo, Brazil (Guri Santa Marcelina)
Indigenous Women and Girls' Choir in Ontario, Canada (Goodhearted Women Singers)
Interpersonal Neurobiological Attunement
Singing in Virtual reality
Group singing has become popular as an informal complementary treatment for various conditions, including recovery of mental health (Clift & Morrison 2011; Livesey et al. 2012)
Choir singers synchronise their heartrate variability (HRV) (Vickhoff et al. 2013)
Group singing can produce significant increases in cytokines alongside reductions in cortisol, beta-endorphin and oxytocin levels (Fancourt et al. 2016)
of Hill and Wind and Sunshine
Simulating Inclusive Natural Group Singing in Virtual Reality
All singers fitted with sensors to record physiological data in addition to UWIST MACL responses. Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) and Blood Volume Pulse (BVP) data were captured as indicators of sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system activity
One week, singing with your own choir, the following week, singing with another choirn in VR
National Trust / ACE / AHRC commission, recording large groups of singers singing a commemorative song cycle on Lake District mountain summits in VR, and installing the recordings in Keswick Museum to compare experiences
"Parallel changing in the EEG patterns is something you could look for. I think what you would find is that people would somehow realise – even on some subconscious level – that their state is being shared with another person’s state, and in that recognition of the resonance, there’s this ‘feeling felt’ process that happens." (Siegel, 2015)
"The human ability to keep time should be distinguished from the ability of most animals (including humans) to move in a metric, alternating fashion. What is special about humans is not their capacity to move rhythmically but their ability to entrain their movements to an external timekeeper, such as a beating drum. (Brown, Merker, & Wallin, 2000, pg. 12) Although all animal species exhibit entrainment in various ways, the human ability to entrain to music represents a propensity unique to our species." (Clayton et al 2004)