I hear America singing

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John F
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I hear America singing

Post by John F » Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:26 pm

According to a survey conducted for Chorus America:

The number of Americans singing has increased over the past decade, with more than 54 million adults and children participating in choral groups today . More than one in six Americans over the age of 18 sings in a chorus. The percentage of Americans singing today has increased over the past decade, up to 17% today from 14% in 2008.

Music education in schools is key to lifelong singing and the benefits it brings. The majority of adults singing today say that they began singing because of a school choral music education opportunity . Over half of all choral singers started in elementary school, and three quarters started by the end of high school.
No mention is made of singing in church, whether in the choir or in the congregation. I know that church attendance has to be down from what it once was, but if the singing of hymns had been included in the survey, I'm sure that would have cut into the number who began singing in school.
John Francis

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Re: I hear America singing

Post by barney » Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:53 pm

I'm sure you are right. But I still welcome music education in schools.
When I went to school in the late 60s we used to sing a hymn every morning at assembly. Sometimes I claimed to be Jewish (Jewish father, Gentile mother, so not really) and went behind the bike sheds for a smoke, but I enjoyed singing the daily hymn so much that gradually I stopped bunking off.

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Re: I hear America singing

Post by maestrob » Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:38 pm

It used to be that if you had a decent voice, you could come to NYC and support yourself by singing in a synagogue on Saturday, and in a church on Sunday. Those days are long gone: now, aspiring singers work in retail, as waiters and in offices around the city.

In high school, I got my start as class soloist singing locally backed by the school choir and a piano: I even almost had a chance to sing on the same program with Anna Moffo (she graduated from my school in 1952), but sadly I fell ill at the last moment. Our class was quite talented: we had three solo-quality voices including myself: a mezzo and a tenor rounded out our little club.

Music education is so vital to youngsters' well-being that I cringe whenever I get a crowd-funding request for a talented son of friends so he can afford to sing with his school choir. This is something that should be covered by the already outrageously high property taxes that suburban families pay. He's been invited to sing twice in Carnegie Hall as part of their outreach program, at a cost of roughly $400 per appearance. Ouch!

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