Conclusion

Fortunately, Eddie never did do what many people see as ‘the unthinkable’. By sheer chance, as he looked up with his tablets and Citalopram oral solution, he noticed tied to the silver railings of Central Park, a banner advertising a community singing group. It was a blues group and Eddie thought to himself, ‘what have I got to lose?’ From that day on, Eddie regularly sang with the community blues singing group and for the first time in his life he felt as though there was some purpose; whilst he still experienced his suffering every waking moment of every waking day, he had a way to manage it and at least he had a regular activity where he could just ‘be himself’.

As we have seen throughout this chapter, singing as a fairly banal activity holds a special place in society; it always has and perhaps it always will. But it is not just singing that this chapter has been interested in, but rather group singing as a regular activity to help alleviate some of the distress many people experience in contemporary life. Whether it is through the common goal group singing offers, the way singing groups enable individuals to shift their central focus from their distress to something different, the way it helps build self-confidence, or simply the upbeat nature of collective singing and the joy of music, we cannot say with any certainty, but through the accounts presented in this chapter we can say that it is certainly having a positive effect on many people who regularly experience distress and suffering. Perhaps singing groups attract and thus ‘work’ for certain ‘types’ of people, or perhaps music more generally is the underlying key to all of this; again, we do not wish to speculate beyond such propositions but only hope that this chapter has shown how singing groups touch the lives of many and deserve more credit.

 
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