I think we all would agree that the sound of a child’s singing voice is one of the most beautiful and precious sounds on earth. To hear this natural instrument in its purest state is a very touching and inspiring experience. Reciprocally, the children who are creating these wonderful sounds are enriching their lives and receiving positive benefits to last a lifetime.
Studies show children who sing in choral ensembles are exposed to experiences which positively influence their social, emotional and academic life. As a music educator and choral director, I have witnessed this growth and joy year after year while working with my students. It is truly remarkable to see (and hear) a child producing such expressive and sophisticated music with their singing voices. As children learn and make music alongside their peers, they can enjoy the following benefits:
• Success for all types of learners: during a typical choral rehearsal, music is explored by utilizing multiple intelligences (i.e. visual/spatial, bodily/kinesthetic, logical/mathematical, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, verbal/linguistic, etc.)
• Improvement of literacy skills: there are many strong connections between reading the words of our favorite storybooks and reading a melodic phrase on a music staff. In addition, the natural flow of choral lyrics can greatly impact a student’s ability to become more fluid and fluent readers. Fluency is an integral part of successful reading
• Increased success and understanding of mathematics: music is filled with patterns, fractions, addition, subtraction, grouping, sequencing, etc.
• Children delve into their expressive side while exploring different emotions found in their song repertoire
• Choral music helps us learn to work cooperatively while strengthening our social skills to achieve a common goal
• Children build confidence as they learn to take risks, improve their talents, and perform for others
• Music has a naturally soothing and relaxing quality. It does wonders for our mind, body and spirit!
• Choral singing has been shown to improve memory, practice/homework habits, responsibility and creativity
Rehearsing and performing with a choir can generate an immense sense of accomplishment. These fun and rewarding memories will last a lifetime! I invite you to attend a demo session of our Advanced Choir at no cost to you. The demo takes place on December 2, 2010 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at Hunterdon Academy of the Arts (4 Minneakoning Rd., Flemington, NJ 08822).
Erin Repsher, Conductor, Hunterdon Youth Choir