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Unit for Singing Research to evaluate health choirs

With a grant from the Spar Nord Foundation, Sangens Hus has been given the opportunity to establish health choirs throughout the country. The Unit for Vocal Research at Aarhus University will carry out follow-up research on the project.

Foto: Colourbox

Singing strengthens communities and well-being. This is well known in Sangens Hus – an organization that works to promote singing throughout Denmark through projects with many different target groups such as children, the elderly and the vulnerable.

A grant from the Spar Nord Foundation now makes it possible for Sangens Hus in collaboration with singing power centres, municipalities, the Danish Music Therapist Association, Danish Choir Leaders and other stakeholders to establish health choirs across the country.

In the coming health choirs, the song will be a tool to strengthen community and well-being. In addition, the health choirs must be a preventive effort for citizens at risk of poor well-being.

The main person responsible for the entire project is health researcher and project manager at Sangens Hus, Lasse Skovgaard, who says:

"The basic idea of the project is to use the joy and energy that arises when you sing as motivation to be active with others"

Unit for Song Research will evaluate the project
The Unit for Singing Research at Aarhus University has collaborated with Sangens Hus on research and dissemination for a long time. Therefore, they have bid for the task of following the project on health choirs.

"We have gained solid experience in researching the social and cultural aspects of singing, community singing and song culture. In the project "Health Choir" we combine this expertise with music therapy research at CEDOMUS - Center for Documentation and Research in Music Therapy at Aalborg University. Together, we will document and evaluate the results of the project," says Lea Maria Wierød Borcak, senior researcher at the Unit for Singing Research.

According to the senior researcher, there is good reason to expect a lot from the project, as there is a great deal of attention to the impact of culture on health, where singing plays a significant role.

"Singing is often highlighted for its ability to strengthen cohesion and social inclusion. Singing is also a relatively uncomplicated cultural activity to go to, as everyone has a voice. The project "Health Song" examines what happens when singing is organized as a specifically organized health activity. This also means that the focus in the health choirs is not on beautiful singing, but on exercises that strengthen both social and mental well-being, but also, for example, breathing and cognition," explains Lea Wierød Borcak.

Facts about the project

  • The Spar Nord Foundation has granted DKK 2.5 million to the Health Choir project for the period 2024-2026.
  • The project has been developed by Sangens Hus, which is also the project owner.
  • The goal is to strengthen the health and well-being of citizens in general and at the same time prevent any lack of well-being from worsening or developing into illness.
  • As part of the project, a continuing education for choir leaders is being developed, which will equip them to handle health choirs.
  • The continuing education is developed in collaboration with, among others, the Danish Choir Directors, the Danish Music Therapist Association, Aalborg University and health experts.
  • Evaluation of the project is carried out in collaboration with the Unit for Singing Research at Aarhus University and the Centre for Documentation and Research in Music Therapy (CEDOMUS) at Aalborg University

Lea Maria Wierød Borcak, Senior Researcher
Centre for Grundtvig Research, Unit for Singing Research
School of Culture and Society
Aarhus University
Phone: +45 5091 5745
Mail: lmw@cas.au.dk