Being a boy in today’s world is challenging! Emotions are often shut down in a misguided macho mentality. Boys are energetic and curious but also very sensitive to how they are viewed and perceived by others, especially other boys. They also have spit personalities! Boys can be loud, boisterous, vulgar, rude, crude and [seemingly] insensitive to others . . . and at the same time be polite, emotional, helpful, responsible and excited to learn. And boys love to sing! You just never know which boy will show up at your rehearsals!
Choral music in an all boy setting can help through this development but missing males in vocal programs has been a problem for many years – and it’s getting worse! Boys are known to be bullied if they express themselves through singing and music. If music and particularly vocal music is perceived as being less than masculine, boys who engage in singing will be punished by their peers. There seems to be a persistent social stigma of male singing, especially boys!
To retain boys in our choral programs we need to keep things demanding and challenging, fast paced and fun! We create an ‘esprit de corps’ in which boys learn to work together and set goals. Teach solid vocal techniques that gives them confidence and affirm their musicianship and their maleness. Most of all . . . it must be fun!
Emotional literacy is an important aspect of male development too. Boys need to be helped in cultivating their emotional awareness, giving them the vital connections and support they need to navigate the daily social pressures they face.
It’s a Boys Place to Sing . . . and Only Boys Aloud!