Strangers bond through singing

Scientists have confirmed what contestants in Gareth Malone’s Naked Choir knew all along, that nothing compares with singing for bringing people together.

The Oxford University team tested the theory by inviting volunteers to take part in one of seven singing, crafts or creative writing courses.

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 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.”

At the end of the seven months, all the classes were reporting similar levels of closeness. But singing stood out as a bonding force that acted rapidly on a whole group of individuals at once.


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