The Glee phenomenon that has been sweeping the US is making its way over the Atlantic and making school choirs cool again. Reporting on the rise of music clubs in schools across the UK, the Times Educational Supplement (TES) highlights the fact that the groups can help bring a range of different people together through song.
Glee clubs have been present in the US for a long period of time, but thanks to the popularity of the hit TV show this enthusiasm is spreading, with many schoolchildren inspired to start their own clubs. One such example of this is at Huish Episcopi School, in Langport, Somerset, where pupils from a range of year groups have joined together to form their own choir club, singing acapella versions of modern songs.
Speaking to the news provider, secondary school music teacher Sarah Beattie explains that after seeing her pupils’ enthusiasm for the music from Glee, she was inspired to utilise the shows sheet music during practice.
“They would burst into song after they had seen an episode and they were asking me to teach songs from the show in their lessons,” she explained.
So what makes the Glee phenomenon popular amongst teenagers? One club member explains that the move away from traditional choir music and “hymns” helps to attract a new audience. “This is more my kind of thing,” the pupil confirmed.
Ms Beattie agrees, claiming that the range of songs that the club sings are instantly recognisable so pupils are able to relate to them more easily. Furthermore, the fact that members do not necessarily require a background in performing makes the club more accessible to new starters.
“A few of them are gifted and talented students and will already play a few instruments, but it’s not all the case,” she told the TES. “Lots of them will not have sung before in the school.”
Meanwhile, Denise Singh, who runs a Glee-themed summer camp in the US, told USA Today that the show’s popularity among youngsters can be put down to the catchy music that it utilises.
“I think that’s the thing that strikes about Glee and the thing that has been so popular is that the songs are so singable – that when people watch it, or sing it, or hear it, they want to sing along,” she explained.
Do you think that the popularity of the TV show has removed some of the stigma children possess surrounding singing?