Skip navigation


libraries week 2018

Libraries Week: Wellbeing singing and music

8 October 2018

This week we are acknowledging Libraries Week running from 8th to 13th October. This is an annual celebration showcasing library services around the UK and encouraging people to get involved to find out what libraries have to offer.

The theme this year is “wellbeing” and libraries across the country will be highlighting how they: bring communities together, combat loneliness, provide space for reading and creativity, and support people with their mental health.

To join in with the theme of libraries week, every day we will be looking at books and services that Calibre has to offer to its members to support wellbeing.

We thought we would start with the beneficial effects of singing and music on wellbeing as many libraries taking part in the celebration have invited their local community choir to sing on Saturday.

It will be no surprise to hear that listening to music has many health benefits. Studies have shown that they may include an improved sense of wellbeing, the reduction of stress, less anxiety, improved memory, easing pain, and improved cognition in Alzheimer’s patients. Music has also been shown to help children with autism spectrum disorder and sooth premature babies.

Singing in a choir can induce similar positive effects with the added benefit of providing an opportunity to take part in a group activity and make new friends.  It also helps boost self-esteem and confidence. Choir members often describe feeling energised after rehearsals and notice that they feel less stressed. Others say ‘it lifts the soul’.

Gathering together a national Calibre choir is probably a bit unrealistic so instead we suggest you listen to one of our books about choirs, singing and music. Two of the suggestions, Joseph Haydn: His Life and Works and Franz Shubert, include musical inserts for you to enjoy.

The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan 11975

The Choir by Joanna Trollope 4270

Franz Schubert by Jeremy Siepmann 12680

Joseph Haydn: His Life and Works by Jeremy Siepmann 12532

Mozart: The Man Revealed by John Suchet 12649

Safe Passage by Ida Cook 11861

The Song Collector by Natasha Solomons 11640

The Woman I was Born to be by Susan Boyle 8863

A Year of Wonder: Classical Music for Every Day by Clemency Burton-Hill 12609