A SONG a day could keep the doctor away, according to a St Austell vocal coach.
Tracey Bailey says singing hits the right note when it comes to people's health and wellbeing.
The musical director of the women's barbershop choir Champagne Cornwall Chorus, Tracey says she is on mission to get people singing "in the car, in the shower or maybe in front of thousands of people".
"There is lots of singing that needs to be done and I would like to get everyone singing. There are lots of health and wellbeing benefits from singing.
"It's great for your breathing, great for just keeping calm, and it helps people with depression," she said.
Mrs Bailey, who has been coaching for over 20 years, added: "When you sing, a different part of your brain is activated.
"For example, you can have a stroke victim who cannot speak but may be able to sing.
"It's the same for Gareth Gates – runner-up in the first ITV series of Pop Idol. He has a stammer but, when he sings, it disappears.
"When you sing it releases the same endorphins we get when we exercise so it gives us that same good feeling."
Sandra Miles, NHS Kernow's joint programme lead for mental health and learning disability, agrees singing can have health benefits.
She said: "Joining a choir or singing group would be a good way to meet new people and could help raise your spirits."
Mrs Bailey has already run workshops in schools, including Penrice Community College, and for disabled children and their families, which culminated with a festival of song.
She said: "People think they can't sing, but they can. Maybe someone has told them they can't or they simply assume they can't do it."
She has recently launched a singing club for youngsters, following requests from parents.
"We'll be singing contemporary songs, rock and pop. We'll be having fun; there will be no audition for the singing club and I'd encourage youngsters to come along and have a go."
Melodees and Harmonix Singing Club has three classes for those aged 5 to 8 years, 9 to 12, and 13 and over. They take place every Thursday during term time, at St Austell Football Club, between 5pm and 8pm. The cost is £4 to £6 per session.
For more details call 07947 616951 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information on mental health and wellbeing visit the dedicated website at cornwallmentalhealth.com