The Many Benefits of Singing Together
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The Many Benefits of Singing Together

Adult Chamber Choir in 2011Mention the word “sing”, and very often the associated noun is “joy.” With origins at least partly in Greek drama (the chorus were “commentators” in classical Greek Drama [1]), singing together has been with us for thousands of years. Beyond just joy, singing has many other positive benefits as well.

Research studies have documented a connection between participation in chorus and improvement in the behavior of children both at home and at school [2]. One study showed that when compared to classmates that had never participated in chorus, children that sang in the chorus got higher grades [3]. In that same study, parents self-reported that chorus participation led to other positives as well: strong memory, good homework habits, and excellent creativity.

Research has also shown that music and chorus participation leads to better reading comprehension, with a study by Notre Dame University of Maryland reporting that Baltimore students that got either music or choral instruction did better in algebra than their non-participating peers [4].

CCC in 2014Meredith Neumann, director of the Connecticut Children’s Chorus (CCC) at The Hartt School Community Division, sees first-hand how singing together builds a special bond amongst participants: “There's nothing that beats that moment when (kids) work so hard for something and then magic happens. It takes over in a performance, and the kids feel that, too. When they put in the work and energy, the concert happens and something else transformative unfolds. It’s so powerful. The collective energy of the group as we bring the music and performance to a new level is amazing.”  (The CCC consists of seven choirs encompassing over nearly 200 students, grades 1–12, from 40 Connecticut communities.)

Neumann says that people who sing together have a safe environment to “be themselves,” which can be incredibly empowering, especially as they strive to “create beauty with others who also want to express themselves through singing.”  She continues, “When using music to create something beautiful, there’s a motivation there that you can’t get anywhere else; you’re supported and encouraged by those around you. The more exposure you get to music, the more you improve.”

As one of the earliest and most fundamental skills that we develop, singing, both individually, and in group settings, is often overlooked as a positive contributor to our health and well being. The benefits strongly suggest that singing should get strong consideration as a way for children and adults to spend time for fun and joy with great results.

[1] "Chorus." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2016.

[2] Menehan, Kelsey. "Chorus America." Advocacy Research RSS. Chorus America, 15 Apr. 2013. Web. 17 Oct. 2016.

[3] ibid

[4] Robelen, Erik. "Struggling in Algebra? Take Up the Tuba (or Sax, or Flute...)." Education Week. Education Week, 21 June 2010.   Web. 17 Oct. 2016.