The benefits of participating in a choir unpacked
For children and adolescents, there are many physical, psychological and social benefits to participating in a choir.
By joining the AGC specifically, girls are exposed to new academic and behavioural learning opportunities, the chance to build their confidence and meet other like-minded individuals, and have a consistent and productive break from their after school studies. How can one activity tick the box of so many positive qualities? Read on as we delve deeper into the benefits of participating in a choir.
Learning new skills outside of classroom
Whether your daughter’s school has a music program or not, the AGC offers a performing arts education very different from traditional school curriculum offerings. The AGC’s philosophy is that every child can learn to sing given encouragement and training, and our curriculum reflects this by catering to the individual needs, experience levels and abilities of every girl. For girls who aren’t offered the opportunity to join a choir at their school, the AGC is the perfect place to explore new creative interests that they wouldn’t have been exposed to otherwise. At the AGC, they can learn to understand and use their voice to its optimal physical function, while building their public speaking and language skills.
“To have an interest outside of school that pushes them creatively and musically has been wonderful. The repertoire of artists, languages and pieces they have performed has really extended their knowledge of the world.” – SA Parent
In addition to developing the musicianship, singing, dance and performance skills of our choristers, participation in the AGC also comes with a host of transferrable skills which many parents find to complement their schooling. Commitment to weekly classes teaches girls time management skills, balancing their choir commitments with other hobbies, activities and homework. This commitment to attendance and working towards key events like concerts also teaches our choristers how to be resilient, setting them up with the communication and teamwork skills necessary to achieve a common goal. Regardless of whether they are a leader in their school or classroom, our focus on role modelling and mentoring in the choir also allows our choristers to develop their leadership skills in a nurturing way, rather than placing competition at the forefront.
Studies on participation in extracurricular activities have widely found that children who engage in activities outside of school have greater social connections and social development than those who do not. By deciding to join the AGC, immediately our choristers have something in common with each other, and with this shared passion for singing comes friendship with other likeminded girls. Parents and alumni alike regularly remark on the strong, life-long friendships that the AGC has fostered, and the confidence this has given them or their daughter through the feeling of being accepted.
“It gives her an artistic outlet separate from her mainstream life and has provided her with a friendship circle of likeminded girls away from the peer group pressure of school.” – Leonie van der Molen, QLD Parent
Group singing, like in a choir, can also help overcome social isolation and enhance mental health.
“Even if we don’t necessarily talk to everyone in our choir, we might experience a general feeling of being connected with the group, leading to our sense of increased community and belonging.” – Jacques Launay and Eiluned Pearce, Postdoctoral Researcher in Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford
“Quite simply, she loves singing, but one-on-one singing lessons could never give her what the AGC can: fun, friendships, performance opportunities, role models, female solidarity and the sheer realisation of the powerful magic you create when you work as a team.” – Daniela Andrews, VIC Parent
A productive break from study
With screen time on the rise for most in Australia, choir is an activity that offers a rest from prescribed homework, while also keeping the mind and body active. Singing is exercise for the voice, providing a great workout for the respiratory system, the larynx, vocal tract and other articulators including the tongue, lips, and soft and hard palates. Unlike traditional choirs, the AGC also incorporates movement and dance into our curriculum, allowing children to be physically active, without playing a sport.
Along with physical benefits, the mental health benefits from singing are further reason to dip your toes into the world of AGC. As mentioned, singing in a group can be a mood booster from the sense of belonging it fosters, however from a deeper level, the “improved mood probably in part comes directly from the release of positive neurochemicals such as β-endorphin, dopamine and serotonin.” –Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Singing, University of Southern Queensland. Being creative also allows our choristers to switch off from what is happening outside of their rehearsals, as they are taught how to be present and engaged during their classes.
“With all the ups and downs of the high school experience AGC offers her a creative, positive space where she can release pressure and embrace her love of singing with her friends.” – NSW Parent