Everyone knows that singing is good for you.
This is confirmed by a recently released report by Chorus America, the national advocacy organization for choruses and choral music.
The 2009 Chorus Impact Study states that singing in a community chorus, or a school or church choir, strongly correlates with qualities associated with success throughout life. Some of those qualities are defined as greater civic involvement, discipline and teamwork.
To establish this, Chorus America evaluated the benefits of choral singing and its impact on communities through the use of an online survey of more than 2,000 singers in choruses of all kinds, 500 members of the general public, 500 parents, and 300 K-12 educators from throughout the United States.
The Chorus America research supports its earlier findings that choral singers exhibit increased social skills, civic involvement, volunteerism and philanthropy. It also established that choristers are likely to support other art forms, when compared with nonsingers.
Driving home the point that music, and singing in particular, builds character is always an important one, especially when many music programs have been gutted at most schools.
The results are no small matter given the huge numbers of people singing in choruses. Chorus America estimates that 32.5 million U.S. adults regularly sing in choruses (up from 23.5 million estimated singers in 2003). And when children are factored in, there are 42.6 million Americans singing in choruses in 2009.
And because more than one in five households have at least one singing family member, choral singing is considered the most popular form of participation in the performing arts for both adults and children.
The full report and executive summary are available online at www.chorusamerica.org