Choir Singers Without Rehearsals and Concerts? A Questionnaire Study on Perceived Losses From Restricting Choral Singing During the Covid-19 Pandemic

  • Töres Theorell
    Department of Music, Pedagogy and Society, Royal College of Music, Stockholm, Sweden

    Department of International Health, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
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  • Jan Kowalski
    Senior Consultant in Biostatistics, Stockholm, Sweden
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  • Ann Mari Lind Theorell
    Department of Music, Pedagogy and Society, Royal College of Music, Stockholm, Sweden
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  • Eva Bojner Horwitz
    Address correspondence and reprint requests to Eva Bojner Horwitz, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
    Department of Music, Pedagogy and Society, Royal College of Music, Stockholm, Sweden

    Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

    Center for Social Sustainability, Institution of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
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Published:December 04, 2020DOI:



      Choir singing is an activity that engages individuals all over the world with a broad demographic representation. Both qualitative and quantitative studies have examined the benefits of the activity but very few have examined the effects when someone loses access to it and stops singing.


      Examining the governmental and organisational responses precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, we asked what happens when a choir singer loses all of their routines associated with regular participation in choir singing.

      Materials and Methods

      One national choir organization in Sweden (n = 3163) and one in Norway (n = 1881) were approached with a short survey. This comprised questions relating to the issue “what do you as a choir singer misses the most?” Each participant was asked to rate the importance of a number of elements that pertain to the experience of choir singing.


      The social aspect of singing emerged as having the strongest weight in terms of perceived loss that is, it was the element that the participants missed the most. Professional singers report that they miss the aesthetic experiences, flow, and all the physical aspects (physical training, voice training, and breathing training) to a greater degree as compared to reports from the amateurs. The importance of aesthetic experiences and physical components appeared to rise with increasing number of years that an individual had engaged with choir singing.


      In the Scandinavian setting, the social aspect has a stronger weight than the other components and this seemed to be more significant in Norway compared to Sweden.

      Key Words

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