“Quantitative data suggest that singing has the potential to improve health-related quality of life, particularly related to physical health, and levels of anxiety without causing significant side effects… Qualitative data indicate that singing is an enjoyable experience for patients, who consistently report that it helps them to cope with their condition better.” 
The benefits of singing for lung health
The benefits – physical, psychological and social – have a positive impact on quality of life of participants in a number of ways:
- Improves breath control and distracts from breathlessness
- Tools for self-management of posture, breath and anxiety
- Tailored to those with respiratory conditions (unlike normal choirs)
- Social participation reduces feelings of isolation in an enjoyable, musical activity
The wider evidence
Research since 2008 mainly focuses on people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
“There is considerable qualitative data to support participation in singing groups as a safe and potentially valuable strategy.” 
Multiple qualitative studies support participation for individuals with respiratory conditions, indicating improvement in:
- Physical and mental health and wellbeing
- Disease management and symptom reduction
“Qualitative research into the wellbeing and health benefits of COPD singing groups offers more positive results because qualitative methods can discover what quantitative methods largely cannot.”  Direct feedback from participants consistently confirms the positive and transformative impact on individual lived experience.
Randomised control trials support the qualitative data for physical health improvements for individuals with COPD but there remains less evidence of benefit for other conditions or from commonly used outcome measures.
Lord et al. performed a randomised controlled trial (RCT) comparing a 6-week course of twice weekly singing classes to usual care, in 28 COPD patients. In this RCT, the physical component score of the SF-36 (36-Item Short Form Survey) improved in the singers, compared to the controls. Singers also had a significant fall in Hospital Anxiety and Depression (HAD) score.
In the qualitative element, positive effects on physical sensation, general well-being, community/social support and achievement/efficacy emerged as common themes. In addition to outcomes from the RCT, Lord et al. also reports on an additional 150 participants in open singing workshops, run in the same hospital, who completed a questionnaire about the experience.