Focus group members involved in the Chorus America Chorus Impact Study expressed their belief that participation in choruses improved certain skills they find useful in social and professional situations:
- team building skills, listening and following skills, creativity, and discipline
- the ability to focus and concentrate
- skills of expression, persistence, and problem solving
- responsiveness to others, and the ability to understand the needs of the whole group, vs. just the self
- positive social skills, skills in conflict resolution, and the ability to express emotion
- courtesy to and tolerance of others
All these skills and attributes are not only beneficial to the individual, but to others, and to society as a whole.
The study also found nearly seventy percent of the 28.5 million people currently singing in a non-school choir had their first choral experience in elementary and middle school. And, more people participate in choral singing than in any other performing art!
Why does this matter to you, as a teacher?
Showing the benefits of choir singing to your school administration can help if your program is possibly threatened with cuts.
“With so many schools across the country reducing time for music due to mandatory state testing, the Chorus Impact study could help teachers who may need to justify their programs,” remarked MENC Chorus and General Music mentor Mary Jennings.
MENC Chorus mentor Susan Haugland recently mused, “I wonder how many teachers are even aware of this report and how beneficial it could be to the advocacy of their program.”
And MENC Chorus Mentor Lois Veenhoven Guderian commented, “The findings … are a wonderful resource for choral music educators’ use in advocacy, especially those findings regarding the personal and shared joy humans of all ages derive from participation in choral ensembles, and the relationship between early participation in school ensembles to later life involvement.”
— Sue Rarus, April 9, 2008, © National Association for Music Education