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Chorus Impact Study shows more Americans singing, making a positive difference in lives

August 8, 2019

Chorus Impact Study shows more Americans singing, making a positive difference in lives

A new study commissioned by Chorus America shows that choral singing in America is stronger than ever, and that music education in schools remains key to supporting lifelong singing.

The Chorus Impact Study: Singing for a Lifetime sheds new light on the impact choral singing has on individuals and communities-especially singers ages 65 and up.

Singing in a chorus has a powerfully positive impact on people across generations, as well as on the communities in which they live, reveals a new study from Chorus America, the advocacy, research and leadership development organization that advances the choral field.

The new research shows that choral singing in America is stronger than ever, with more than 54 million Americans singing in choruses. The percentage of Americans singing has also risen over the past decade, from 14 percent in 2008 to 17 percent today.

These numbers are good news, because choruses play an important role in individuals' lives and in society. As with previous Chorus Impact Studies done in 2003 and 2008, the research finds that people who sing experience a number of personal benefits, from stronger relationships and better social skills to increased optimism, resilience, and mindfulness. And the positive personal qualities of choral singers ripple outward into the communities they live in and beyond. Singers are skilled team players and involved citizens, voting, volunteering, and contributing financially to the organizations they support at higher levels than the general public.

Chorus America's data supports a growing body of research on the many benefits of singing and belonging to choral groups. Among the key report findings:

  • Choral singing in America is stronger than ever, with over 54 million adults and children participating in choral groups today. The percentage of Americans singing has also increased over the past decade, up to 17% today from 14% in 2008.
  • Music education in schools remains key to supporting lifelong singing, with 76% of choral singers reporting that their first singing experience was in elementary, middle, or high school.
  • People who sing feel more connected to others, and are less likely to feel isolated. 73% say group singing makes them feel less lonely, and nearly 7 in 10 choral singers say that singing has helped them socialize better in other parts of their lives.
  • Chorus members give back to their communities in a big way. They are more likely than other Americans to donate money and volunteer their time to a variety of causes both inside and outside the arts.
  • Choral singers are remarkably good citizens. 90% of singers report that they vote regularly vs. 55% of the of the general public, and singers also run for public office more frequently than their fellow Americans.
  • Choruses are powerhouses of connection and tolerance. Singers are more likely than the general public to say that "it is always better to finds ways to talk to and work with people you disagree with." And 63% believe that singing has made them more accepting of people who are different from them.
  • Choral singing promotes healthy, vibrant aging, as 69% of singers ages 65+ report a "very good" quality of life, vs. 22% of the general public of the same age. Nearly 20% of older singers reported improvements in one more chronic health conditions due to singing.

Read the full report.