Singing in the Choir at Chaparral Middle School

There are so many great reasons to sing in the choirs at Chaparral Middle School!

Find your voice!

Since 1999, hundreds of Moorpark students have learned to sing in the CMS choirs. Mrs. Koch teaches you to sing accurately (the right notes at the right times), to sing with expression (putting the feeling into a song), and to sing correctly (producing a sound that isn't strained and will keep your voice healthy). Many CMS choir students keep performing after Middle School in all sorts of ways, including at High Street Theater, at Disney, and even on Broadway!

Sing great music!

The CMS Choirs sing in styles ranging from classical to pop and everything in between. We sing in English, Spanish, and many other languages. And along the way, we don't just hear the music, we read it. If you didn't know how to read notes and rhythms before, you will after singing in the choir at Chaparral!

Belong in the choir!

Most of all, choir is a fun, safe place in Middle School where students can be themselves and find friendship. Whether in 6th Grade Choir, Mixed Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, or Bachelors (our all-male group), strong bonds are created by singing together. Additionally, being in choir means having several opportunities for fun special events each year: the Winter and Spring concerts, Solo Ensemble Night, Christmas Magic at High Street Theater, Honor Choir, collaborations with guest musicians, Opera Workshop with California Lutheran University, choir festivals, and the Rock-A-Thon.

Additionally, our choirs are good! The CMS choirs have been consistently ranked as "Superior" by choral festival judges, year after year. Students have commuted daily from as far away as Ventura to sing in the CMS choirs.

And if all of that isn't a good enough reason, recent scientific research has found that singing in choir provides all sorts of benefits for your health, academics, and friendships!

Why Choir Matters: The Science of Singing in Choir

Research has made it clear: singing in choir matters. Here are some of the benefits students gain from choir, as shown by recent studies.

Choir Improves Academic Success

Studies have shown that participation in the arts improves reading, language and math skills.2

And UCLA researchers have shown that students involved in arts programs like chorus have overall higher levels of academic achievement and higher rates of college completion - it's an effect that can be seen across all income levels.3

Choir Provides a Place to Belong

It's no secret that CMS choirs provide a safe place for students in the choppy waters of middle school. In fact, students in choirs are less likely to feel the need to isolate themselves through television and media.4 And singing in choir has been proven to help build important social skills like self-confidence, self-control, conflict resolution, empathy, and social tolerance.5 Additionally, students who have experienced that sense of belonging in choir are far more likely to vote6 and to be involved in the larger community as young adults.7

Choir Improves Student Happiness

Medical research has shown that singing releases endorphins (hormones that reduce pain and increase happiness)8, as well as oxytocin (another hormone that alleviates anxiety and stress)9. And studies have shown a connection between singing and a lessened sense of loneliness or even depression.10 But we don't need research to show us what our students have said so often: singing in choir makes their lives better.

And beyond all these things, we know that the intrinsic power of choral music is that it gives voice to the human experience on both a personal and communal level. When our students join their voices in shared expression, they create something greater than themselves: a work of art that is both profound and transformative.

2 Critical Evidence: How the Arts Benefit Student Achievement, Washington, DC: Arts Education Partnership and National Association of State Arts Agencies, 2006, pages 11-12, 15. http://www.aep-arts.org/publications/info.htm?publication_id=31
3 Catterall, James. Doing Well and Doing Good by Doing Art, Los Angeles, CA: I-Group Books, 2009, Figure 2.4
4 The Chorus Impact Study. Washington, DC: Chorus America, 2009, page 13. http://www.chorusamerica.org
5 Critical Evidence: How the Arts Benefit Student Achievement, Washington, DC: Arts Education Partnership and National Association of State Arts Agencies, 2006, pages 13-14. http://www.aep-arts.org/publications/info.htm? publication_id=31
6 Thomas, R.J. and McFarland, D.A. Joining Young, Voting Young: The Effect of Youth Voluntary Associations on Early Adult Voting, Boston, MA: Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at Tufts University, August 2010, page 18. http://www.civic youth.org/featured-extracurricular-activities-may-increaselikelihood-of-voting/
7 Catterall, James. Doing Well and Doing Good by Doing Art, Los Angeles, CA: I-Group Books, 2009, page 57 8 Dunbar, Kaskatis, MacDonald, Barra, “Performance of music elevates path threshold and positive effect…”, Evolutionary Psychology, 2012 Oct 22; 10(4). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23089077
9 Grape, Sandren, Hansson, Ericson, Theorell, “Does singing promote well-being? An empirical study of professional and amateur singers during a singing lesson.”, Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science, 2003 Jan-Mar; 38(1). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12814197
10 Clift, S and Grenville, H, “The significance of choral singing for sustaining psychological wellbeing…”, Music Performance Research, 2010, Vol 3(1) Special Issue Music and Health: 79-96