Chorus Impact Study Finds Positive Benefits of Choruses and Choral Singing for Children, Adults, and Communities
Chorus America first evaluated the benefits of choral singing and its impact on communities in a 2003 study. The results from this latest research support and advance earlier findings that choral singers exhibit increased social skills, civic involvement, volunteerism, philanthropy, and support of other art forms, when compared with non-singers.
The 2009 study included a new component that explicitly examined the effects choral singing has on childhood development. The results show children who sing in choirs display many of the enhanced social skills found in adult singers, substantiating earlier conclusions that singing in childhood is likely to have an enormous influence on the choices individuals make later in life. Additionally, both parents and educators attribute a significant proportion of a child’s academic success to singing in a choir.
Children who sing in choruses have academic success and valuable life skills.
Several of the study’s major findings for young singers include:
- The majority of parents surveyed believe multiple skills increased after their child joined a chorus. Seventy-one percent say their child has become more self-confident.
- 70% say their child’s self-discipline has improved.
- 69% state their child’s memory skills have improved.
- More than 80% of educators surveyed—across multiple academic disciplines—agree with parent assessments that choir participation can enhance numerous aspects of a child’s social development and academic success.
- Educators also observe that children who sing are better participants in group activities, have better emotional expression, and exhibit better emotional management.
- Ninety percent of educators believe singing in a choir can keep some students engaged in school who might otherwise be lost—this is particularly true of educators (94%) who describe the ethnicity of their schools as diverse.
- Children who participate in a chorus get significantly better grades than children who have never sung in a choir.
- Forty-five percent of parents whose children sing state their child receives “all or mostly A’s” in mathematics (vs. 38% of non-choir parents) and 54% get “all or mostly A’s” in English and other language arts classes (vs. 43%).
While the 2009 study determined there are numerous academic and social benefits resulting from a child’s participation in a chorus, it also pointed to an alarming trend suggesting that these opportunities are not available, or are being reduced or eliminated from schools across the country. More than one in four educators responded that there is no choir program in their schools. Additionally, more than one in five parents said that there were no choral singing opportunities for their children in their communities.
This is still true today, suggesting that the decrease in choral singing opportunities in schools and communities is a missed opportunity for bolstering student achievement and engagement in their schools.
“The data in this report suggests that it would be a mistake not to leverage the benefits that choruses bring to children, adults, and the communities they serve,” observes Todd Estabrook, Chairman of Chorus America. “Simply put, if you’re searching for a group of talented, engaged, and generous community members, you would do well to start with a chorus.”
Whatever motivates choral singers to sing, the data indicates that choral singing is a thriving and growing form of artistic expression in America, and can be acknowledged not just for providing great musical performances, but for advancing many of the positive qualities associated with success in life both for children and adults.