LYC Blog #10: 10 Reasons Your Child Should Join A Choir

LYC Artistic Director Rachel Staunton shares 10 reasons why your child should join a choir

Published November 2023

Based on my lived experience growing up in choirs as a child and a teenager, I’ve been evangelizing about the benefits of singing in a choir for years. From the church choir (where I was always in trouble with the older ladies in the back row for chatting!) to the National Youth Choir of Great Britain, I found more than just a love for music, I found my people. Now as a parent to two lively boys (9 and 7) I am witnessing first hand other benefits to them being part of a weekly choir. In a crowded market of afterschool clubs, and at a time where we are all feeling the pinch financially, I thought I would write this for parents and carers to help you work out if choir might be a good fit for your children (spoiler alert, I think it is!!).


Choir provides a safe group setting for young people to experiment with and find their own unique voice. In my experience this has led to increased confidence, public speaking confidence and improved personal presentation skills. After a year in choir, my own kids were keen to sing solos at school and to sing in front of others (in fact, it is quite hard to stop them!). Here is Grace from LYC (aged 16) making her Royal Albert Hall solo debut!

LYC member Grace wearing a teal T shirt with white LYC logo, singing into a microphone, with a choir behind under blue lighting

2. Choir is a joy-bringer

“Singing teaches you lots of skills and provides many opportunities which will help, enrich and sustain you throughout life. There is nothing equal to the joy of performing wonderful music with other like-minded people.” – Ed Sheeran

Don’t just take it from me – listen to Ed, people! Since being a part of choirs, my own children fill bored moments with spontaneous singing, the school run is full of humming and recounting of Christmas carols (even in the summer!) and lyrics are picked up very quickly from the radio. In short, singing is a joy-bringer. In a digital age, I love that choir gives children songs to sing and lift their spirits with as they go about their daily lives.

Rachel Staunton with her arms up, looking up with a joyful expression on her face, wearing black concert uniform

3. Broadened Musical Appreciation

“Alexa, play music by Errollyn Wallen” – Daniel, age 7

I have seen first hand the growth of children’s appreciation for a wider range of music as a result of being in choir. My 9 year old son thought that a carol by Joanna Forbes L’Estrange & Alexander L’Estrange (The Twyford Carols: Rejoice! Rejoice!) was just as famous as O Little Town of Bethlehem, as the choir had introduced him to all kinds of different songs as part of a rounded musical diet. If you pick a good choir, your child can be exposed to music from all different cultures, countries, faith groups, compositional voices and experiences.

4. Develop Transferable Skills

My older son decided to take up an instrument earlier this year and I have seen first hand how the fundamentals learnt in choir have enabled him to flourish quickly. Pitch, rhythm, musical reading, dynamics (different volumes), pulse and musical phrasing are already part of his musical understanding from choir long before he had an instrument to contend/fiddle with! I haven’t even had to be a pushy music mum (!) as the rhythm of having weekly lessons, practicing in between, and preparing for concerts, etc. was established already in choir.

5. Find Your People

As I picked up my kids from choir this week, out rolled 50 or so kids all aged 7-11. Clothed in about 40 different school uniforms and from all over the local area, their laughing, chatting and singing spilled out into the local estate. Choir makes community for its members and for the parents & carers. If your child is in need of some friends with a shared interest then choir is perfect for them!

A group of 6 LYC members, age 16-23 and female, stood in a circle chatting, wearing teal LYC T shirts

6. Performance Skills

Choir concerts happen at least every academic term. Some are informal, like the ones where we welcome the parents and carers in to watch for free, and others are more high profile (did we mention that our 6 Junior Choirs are performing in 5 shows at the Royal Festival Hall this Christmas with the London Philharmonic and Philharmonia Orchestras?!). In choir, these performances are always done as a group and we create a friendly atmosphere for children to sing in front of audiences for the first time. It’s a great way into performing, and by the end of their years in choir, our members have quite a biography of venues and occasions at which they have performed!

Members of LYC South East wearing green LYC t shirts with black long sleeves, singing and looking at the conductor/audience (off-camera)

7. Language Development

When I worked at Opera North In Harmony (a special music programme for kids from South Leeds where they get immersed in music all through Primary School) I saw children go from not being able to read, to reading choir lyrics fluently. I am dyslexic myself (a super power when it comes to remembering choir lyrics!) and I have seen countless children’s language and reading skills improve due to being in a choir. Choir often also exposes children to singing in different languages. For example, one of our team, Mariana Rosas, is from Argentina, so the children in her LYC choir had the privilege of singing songs in languages that she was fluent in. Did you know that at LYC we print music in different colors and sizes for members with different needs, too? It’s all part of the service to make choir more accessible.

8. Physical Health

“Singing requires you to sing in a controlled way, which helps increase lung capacity” – Matt Roughley, Choral Learning Team at Opera North

We regularly start choir rehearsals with a warm up. When we warm up the body we get children to focus on their breathing, as the breath really is the secret weapon when it comes to singing together and well. There are lots of scientific studies that claim that singing also helps children to self-regulate, keep calm and release happy endorphins. The stretches and movement during singing also help children keep moving and keep fit. Singing is an active sport!

9. Mental Health

“Singing really does make me a happier person, I always feel my best after a good sing-song with my choir, Modality” – Amy, LYC Development Officer

In the LYC Headquarters at Rich Mix (I have made it sound WAY more grand than it is!), we have a happy notice board of quotes and cards from children, teenagers and their guardians extolling the virtues of what choir has done for them. Time and time again, members comment on what a difference joining a choir has made to their mental health and wellbeing. Singing is so good that nearly all our LYC staff also sing in choirs. At LYC we have a dedicated Pastoral Care team too, so that our young people are looked after really thoroughly.

A group of LYC South East members age 7-11 wearing green LYC T shirts and black trousers, with a staff member in a yellow T shirt and another staff member in the background, smiling and making silly faces at the camera backstage at the royal albert hall

10. Screen downtime

If nothing else, choir provides another after-school moment where they are not on screens…. worth every penny, I’d say!!!

All photo credits: Belinda Lawley

If this blog has tempted your young person (or you!) to give choral singing a go, we have some very relaxed, fun, informal auditions in January which you can sign up for below.

Auditions are all FREE – so why not make choral singing your New Year’s Resolution!

Sign up for a FREE audition

Visit our ‘Join LYC’ page to find out more!


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