Men tune in to song of wellbeing
BUDERIM Male Choir members are singing their way to good health and encouraging other men to join in the chorus.
The choir's latest campaign Singing for Life promotes health and wellbeing benefits gained through participation in singing groups.
It also aims to attract more men to the Coast's female-dominated hobby.
Choir spokesman Barry Leigh said singing in a group was both physically and mentally healthy.
"The breathing exercises that we do enhance good lung capacity and learning music is a great stimulus for the brain," Barry said.
The choir's longest-serving member Ed Scott, 83, said the group was passionate about Singing for Life, especially for the mental health benefits.
"Being involved in a singing group gives people something to look forward to each week and for some, a reason to keep going," he said.
"It's a really supportive network.
"If someone is sick, then we look after them, and when members pass away, we sing at their funerals."
Fellow member Brian Dutch, 76, agreed many of the men came along for the social aspect.
"There is a bit of a men's club atmosphere. We're like a family," he said.
Musical director Paul Coppens said singing ability was not needed to join the group.
"Most of the guys we have coming think that they are horrible singers, but singing is one of our most basic abilities," Paul said.
"You may not be able to sing in tune but everyone can learn and that's what I'm here for."
Don Hardgrave, 83, founding member of another Coast choir, Cool Harmonies, said the group's rehearsals were what he looked forward to each week and he would recommend group singing to anyone.
"Over the six years I've been involved, I think it's only two times that I've missed," he said.
Don's wife bought him a didgeridoo for his 80th birthday and since then, he has learnt circular breathing.
Don said although the group was serious about creating beautiful sounds, it also served as a great form of exercise.
"Healthwise, it's great," Don said.
"We stand up for two hours, we dance, do deep breathing warm-ups, and it's definitely never boring."
Don said although he encouraged his male friends to join the group, he didn't mind the mix of sexes.
"It's a shame there aren't many blokes involved but when all the rest are women, I don't object," he chuckled.
Although the initiative is in its early stages, the State Government Gambling Community Benefit Fund has provided nearly $5000 towards Singing for Life.
The group has sent information about the venture to Coast medical centres.