Singing brings people together more than any other activity, says an expert

Those who sing together stay together, according to brand new research from Oxford University.

According to the study, you’re more likely to gel with your counterparts if you sing harmonies than if you were to write stories or indulge in arts and crafts.

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Surveys were conducted to find out how close people taking part in the once weekly, seven-month-long courses felt to their classmates. Lead researcher Dr Eiluned Pearce, an experimental psychologist, said: “The difference between the singers and the non-singers appeared right at the start of the study.

“In the first month, people in the singing classes became much closer to each other over the course of a single class than those in the other classes did. Singing broke the ice better than the other activities, getting the group together faster by giving a boost to how close classmates felt towards each other right at the start of the course.”

Participants in all the activities gradually got to know one another, said the scientists writing in the Royal Society’s Open Science journal.

At the end of the seven months, all the classes were reporting similar levels of closeness.

But singing stood out as a powerful bonding force that acted rapidly on a whole group of individuals at once.

Explaining the likely origins of the magnetic effect of singing, Dr Pearce said: “One of the key differences between humans and other primates is that we can exist in much larger social groups.

“Singing is found in all human societies and can be performed to some extent by the vast majority of people. It’s been suggested that singing is one of the ways in which we build social cohesion when there isn’t enough time to establish one-to-one connections between everyone in a group.

“We wanted to explore whether there was something special about singing as a bonding behaviour or whether any group activity would build bonds between members.”

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What a shame the power of song couldn’t keep One Direction together. Still miss you Zayn.

BBC Two’s Naked Choir, presented by Gareth Malone, set out to find Britain’s most talented a capella (singing without instruments) vocal group. Three choirs competed in the final of the series screened on Tuesday night.

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