Singing in school

Singing in school © Antonioguillem – fotolia.com

Knowledge and skills

  • Music

Does the thought of singing in school make you go a bit weak at the knees? Chris Evans from Coventry gives us his top ten facts to remind us why we should all be singing the praises of singing in schools.

  1. It’s fun
    Children love to sing! And although the tradition of everyone singing in assembly each morning may be lost in many schools singing is around us more than ever, from karaoke to The X Factor, and children still love to sing along.
  2. It’s free
    Although you can spend a small fortune on music resources you can sing for free – and every child owns their own instrument!
  3. It makes you fit!
    Learning movements to songs increases kinaesthetic awareness. Singing is itself an aerobic activity that also releases endorphins, natural mood enhancers.
  4. Singing is a natural de-stressor
    Being aware of, and being in control of, breathing with short intakes and slower, controlled exhalations is a very natural way to calm the nervous system and to bring peace to a busy classroom.
  5. It improves awareness
    The act of singing together in groups develops awareness skills. Predictive skills will improve, and children will pay better attention to looking and listening.
  6. It results in a heightened sense of being
    Singing together is infectious and singers benefit socially, physically and psychologically from group singing.
  7. Singing improves learning
    Working on something that engages the whole body and mind, encourages memory development and often works with counting and a strong pulse is shown to improve learning in English and maths.
  8. It helps self-image
    Even the shyest child can be encouraged to sing at least part of a song, perhaps even the key part of a song. There is a strong sense of achievement in learning whole songs and in working effectively together and in putting on a performance.
  9. It improves communication.
    ‘Singing up’ can result in better ‘speaking up’. The singing skills of planning your breathing to get through the phrases, improved and deliberate diction and vocal tone production are all valuable when speaking in class and reading out loud.
  10. Singing is inclusive
    Whatever your background, culture or level of expertise, everyone can join in.

Chris Evans is a composer and music lecturer in Coventry.

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