Singing is a 'bonding behaviour' letting adults make friends more easily, Oxford University research finds.
Researchers compared singers with adults doing other classes to see how quickly they bonded.
“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.”
To test the theory, researchers monitored seven weekly courses run by the Workers' Educational Association (WEA) - four in singing, two in crafts and one in creative writing.
Attendees filled out surveys before and after sessions in the first and third months of the course, as well as at the end after seven months, to rate how they felt about their classmates.
“The difference between the singers and the non-singers appeared right at the start of the study,” Dr Pearce said.
“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.”