In reviewing articles and survey results dating from the 1980s on the benefits of student choral participation we find that those benefits continue to be extremely positive. The benefits are so positive that even students themselves have noticed. Sited below are quotes from some observers.
According to a 2009 Chorus America Survey nearly 3 million Americans
regularly sing in choruses. Children who sing in choruses get significantly better
grades than their classmates who were never in a choir. Parents of choristers say
that participating in a chorus contributes to other qualities that help children learn
and develop – Such as good memory, good practice and homework habits
and high levels of creativity. As in 2003, the research finds that adult choral
singers display an array of positive attributes, from deeper involvement in civic
life than the average American to desirable personal qualities; such highly
developed social skills and the ability to be a team player.
Three-quarters of teachers surveyed said they can tell which students in their
classes participate in choirs, just by observing their behavior. More than half say
they have recommended choruses to students. Ninety-one percent of educators
believe choruses add to a school’s overall sense of community.
“When kids participate in choruses, they also tend to be successful students in
school. Similarly, adults who participate in choruses are more likely to be
successful citizens and workers,” said Laura Smyth, senior associate for
Communications and Partnerships at the Arts Education Partnership.
Kevin McCarthy, a leading researcher on the arts and culture at RAND
Corporation finds the new study provocative and deserving of further exploration.
“What is it about choruses that seems to produce benefits-is it the discipline, is it
the art, is it the fact that you are cooperating and working with others, is it being a
part of an organization that is beyond yourself.
Beth Tibbs, Arizona Western College professor and director of the Yuma Youth
Choir says that many of her choir members began with no self-confidence, and
singing helped build their self-esteem and strengthen their discipline. Choir
participation is very transformative in every aspect of their lives, and just
remembering lyrics or their part of melody lines sharpens cognitive skills.
The findings indicate that no matter the age, from children to senior citizens the
benefits of choral participation are all positive. These positive effects are felt
personally, as well as translating to a better community in which to live.
To read all of the results of the 2009 Chorus America Survey visit their website at: http://www.chorusamerica.org/about_choralsinging.cfm