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10 Reasons why singing should be in the classroom

Singing should be at the heart of school music provision, and here are some reasons why! 

  1. Supports wider music understanding: Secondary music teachers stated that they had applied vocal strategies across their entire curriculum, encouraging students to vocalise first and move onto instruments after. This aided musical understanding as students were internalising the music, listening to and singing it first. 
     
  2. Contributes to enhanced wellbeing: Singing in schools dramatically improves self-esteem (particularly for vulnerable and children with special educational needs), helps children to be more calm and focused, and increases enjoyment and engagement in class. 
     
  3. Increases confidence: 90% of teachers in the Find Your Voice pilot in 2013 felt their students were more confident overall in music lessons due to the increased participation in singing. Furthermore 70% of teachers also felt their own confidence with singing had improved. As the approach emphasises recreating music with your voice, rather than ‘singing songs’, it means that even the most vocally-shy teacher is prepared to facilitate whole-class singing without feeling intimidated. 
     
  4. Has broader educational benefits: Singing to younger children has a proven link to educational success in later life. 
     
  5. Engages students in their own musical styles: Teachers reported that 74% of students who participated in Find Your Voice strategies in the classroom continued to sing/vocalise in their own time – either in extra-curricular activities or informally. Why? Because they were learning how to vocalise their own music, which they saw as relevant and engaging. 
     
  6. Has physical health benefits: Lung cancer patients who sang in a choir had a greater expiratory capacity than those who didn’t. Singing has also been shown to boost immune systems and reduce stress levels. 
     
  7. Is a form of communication: Babies internalise the sounds of their mothers’ voices, speech and intonation, while in the womb. From the time children are born, singing is a natural way for them to communicate, even though this often diminishes as pressures of society take over as they get older. 
     
  8. It is free: Anyone, anywhere can sing. Poorly-resourced music classrooms can still access and deliver relevant, high-quality lessons that engage all students without the need for expensive equipment.  
     
  9. Supports language development: A recent study by Northwestern University has proven a link between learning music and the development of language and reading skills. Even though this study was looking at instrumental learning as well as vocal work, singing naturally leads onto song-writing, which has links to literacy and language development. 
     
  10. It is fun: Dare we say that music in classrooms can be fun? An extensive range of vocal warm-ups are designed to engage students with fun musical activities, build their confidence, and lead them onto vocal exercises in musical styles they are familiar with.
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