At The Aloud Charity we are lucky enough to witness first-hand the impact that regular group singing has on the young people involved in our choirs.
We have seen thousands of young people flourish in confidence over the years: conquering the apprehension of a first rehearsal to making news friends and experiencing new performance opportunities.
“It is always amazing seeing what being a member of an Aloud choir does for the confidence of our members. Seeing them grow in self-assurance over the time they are with us is a real joy to see. They learn so many skills and life lessons being part of a choir – it’s not just about the singing!” Craig Yates, Creative Director
That’s why it’s always so rewarding to see research confirm what our team experience each week.
The Aloud Charity have received the results of an externally commissioned evaluation of our work.
As our choirs returned to in-person rehearsals during the 2021/22 academic year following the Covid-19 pandemic, we used the opportunity to evaluate the impact of involvement in our choirs.
Using a bespoke framework we tracked changes in behaviour and well-being against 4 identified Key Performance Indicators:
- Social Anxiety
- Time keeping
The biggest change over the course of the 2021/22 year related to the level of confidence amongst new members of our Only Boys Aloud choirs.
In autumn 2021, 76% of new choir members had “hoped that they would feel more confident”.
By Summer 2022, 100% said that they were “definitely more confident” following their involvement.
“I think the main thing that stood out for me is how inclusive it is for everyone. And even though I hated my singing voice (and at times still do) and wasn’t very confident about it, it’s as if someone is just sat there saying: ‘I don’t mind how good or bad you sing, just come along to it. Have fun, socialise, and enjoy it’, rather than seeing it as a thing you have to be good at to join.” Noah Pooley, Only Boys Aloud participant
You can read about 17 year old carer Noah’s experiences of joining Only Boys Aloud in West Wales and how it developed his confidence here:
Case Study – Only Boys Aloud Choir Aberystwyth 2021/22 academic year
In autumn 2021 we launched our new Only Boys Aloud choirs in West Wales.
64% of the 15 participants indicated that they were “lacking in confidence” (Level 1) at the first session with only 1 participant indicating that they felt “very confident” (Level 3). 42% of boys identified as feeling “extremely anxious”.
42% of participants had jumped to the next level of confidence, 21% were less anxious, and 1 boy demonstrated improvements across concentration, confidence, and reduced anxiety.
All the boys had improved in at least one of the KPI categories. The biggest changes were in the levels of anxiety: 62% now showed no anxiety at all (Level 3) and the remaining 38% had reduced anxiety (Level 2).
25% of the boys had attained Level 3 in each of the 4 categories. No one was at Level 1 in any of the categories.
“Even if you’ve had a terrible day, you come out of OBA with a fresh happiness. You can say to yourself, “Oh well, I don’t know what happened today, but I’m happy now and I can go to sleep and get the rest of my week done!”–Only Boys Aloud participant
The results of the evaluation have highlighted the role that group singing can play in raising confidence, enhancing well-being, and building a sense of community. We will be continuing to evaluate the impact of involvement in our choirs and reaching out within our communities to ensure that these benefits are available to even more young people across Wales.