Laura: Group member (left), Helen Tooth: Music leader (centre), Victor: Group member (right)

A Nottingham singing group is helping to improve the mental wellbeing of locals through the magic of music.

The Beeston based ‘Music for everyone’s open voices’ group hosts singing sessions for adults with learning difficulties or disabilities.

The organiser, Helen Tooth, says she set up the sessions, which are run every Tuesday, to break down barriers within society and foster a sense of togetherness and empowerment through the universal language of music.

“This group really gives you a sense of belonging”

Helen says she has noticed a huge difference in the self confidence of the members since they joined her classes.

“The people that come regularly, yes, I’ve noticed a big difference in them; they’re a lot happier and they tell us it’s their favourite day of the week, so I can’t ask for anymore than that really,” she said.

Video: Helen Tooth: Music leader talks on why music is important for mental wellbeing

Studies have shown that engaging with music triggers a positive effect on the brain with singing and creating music releasing dopamine, which lifts people’s overall mood and well-being.

Statistics on singing and mental wellbeing:

  • Reduced stress levels: Studies show that singing can lead to a decrease in stress as much as 30%
  • Elevated mood: Engaging in group singing releases endorphins, promoting an overall sense of wellbeing
  • Enhancing cognitive function: Singing requires coordination between various brain regions, contributing to improved cognitive functions
  • Social connections: Singing in a group fosters a sense of belonging, reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation

The group also supports people that are experiencing loneliness and those who are dealing with bereavement.

Video: Pippa, a member of the group talks about how singing has helped her through difficult times

The members say their shared passion for music defies their differences, creating a space where everyone is not only accepted, but celebrated.

According to recent surveys, 85% of participants reported feeling a heightened sense of community belonging since joining community groups.

Image: Kevin: A member of the group

Pat is a full time carer for her husband.

“A few weeks ago when my husbands day centre was closed I brought him here and he really loved it…so this group really gives you a sense of belonging; it’s amazing,” she said.

Video: Members of the group talk on how it has helped them mentally 

“Whatever time it is, you can just walk in, join the group, start singing and everybody makes you feel welcome; especially Helen,” said Pippa.

If you or someone you know would benefit from joining the group email

The organiser Helen Tooth says “It doesn’t matter if you can’t sing, because do you know what, none of us can!”