AIBU to tell ds head teacher that I am shocked only girls are in the choir ???

(72 Posts)
aldiconvert Fri 29-Nov-13 21:26:17

My ds1 age 7 joined choir at the start of the year and loved it .... He is not a great singer but enjoyed it and I was so glad he was joining in as it is good for his confidence etc .... However, after a term of 'ribbing ' for being the only boy, he has now had enough and dropped out .... I am proud that he lasted so long and went even though none of his friends did , but I am also disappointed that he has dropped out just before Xmas concert Etc ... However , why on earth was he the only boy in the choir ???? A I b u to tell the head that I am shocked that no boys are in the choir and the ones who were are not being retained ???? Surely a choir should be full of boys and girls these days ???!!!!! Raging !

manicinsomniac Fri 29-Nov-13 21:57:23

If it's voluntary they can't force can they! Our Y2s and 3s are all in compulsory choir.

I only have 3 boys in my junior dance club and only 1 in my senior dance troupe. I'd love more but how am I supposed to make them?

Isawitchcackling Fri 29-Nov-13 21:59:06

YANBU, a choir should encourage boys to join. I do think though that unless you have a male choir teacher then boys just don't see it as cool. Our head teacher runs the choir and is male so there are plenty of boys.

SatinSandals Fri 29-Nov-13 22:01:46

You can encourage it but nothing more. I think they generally are encouraged.

OrlandoWoolf Fri 29-Nov-13 22:05:47

The main thing a school can do is to encourage a school culture where children do what they want without peer pressure.

Instill that into a child and it's great. Or else you get people not trying academically because it's not cool or doing stuff to fit in.

How a school encourages that attitude is a massive question. I went to a school recently where the pupils told me that the school had a culture of learning and pupils were encouraged to try - and no one took the piss if they did try.

ipadquietly Fri 29-Nov-13 22:07:53

Does the head teacher run the choir?

CoffeeQueen187 Fri 29-Nov-13 22:07:54

Schools do try and get boys to join the choir. My DS's school pretty much harassed me to sign DS up for it untill I gave them a firm 'no'. They kept sending letters home and reminders through text message. They even had the class teacher approach the parents and asked them to sign up. This went on almost daily for about 3 weeks.

I would have happily signed him up, only DS didn't want to join it as none of his friends were.

I'm not going to force him to attend a club he doesn't want to attend.

Daykin Fri 29-Nov-13 22:12:14

No boys in our school choir. I'm not sure if it is a nerd thing, there are boys in the, arguably more nerdy, recorder group.
Are boys less likely to want to give up their lunchtimes? Less of a problem for girls, sometimes, if all they are doing is avoiding being hit by a football being played with by boys who won't let girls join in.

(I may be projecting)

AgentZigzag Fri 29-Nov-13 22:13:57

Could some of the lads voices be breaking?

Don't know what age that happens at, it could put them off a bit possibly? (I'm thinking of the fast food server in the Simpsons grin very funny).

OrlandoWoolf Fri 29-Nov-13 22:19:21

Not at 7.

AgentZigzag Fri 29-Nov-13 22:23:08

Not the OP's DS, but from the other years?

teacherandguideleader Fri 29-Nov-13 22:32:35

You can't force boys to take part. One of the clubs I run only has girls - there is no sinister exclusion of boys - it is just the way it has worked out in that year group!

aldiconvert Fri 29-Nov-13 22:53:48

Thanks for all the feedback !!! I think the reason I am so frustrated is that I myself am a teacher and where I work we have a thriving choir of both boys and girls .... Totally voluntary. The music teacher is amazing and made it ' cool' to be in choir and chooses songs and performances that boys will enjoy ... So I know it can be done ..... I know it is always going to be a challenge to motivate the boys but feel like ds school have given up trying and adopted a defeatist attitude and the teacher who does it is in a rut and could do with fresh ideas and a male co worker maybe ... Generally his school is outstanding and I feel that this area could be turned around quite easily if the head viewed it as worth doing so ... Ds absolutely loved choir then just cried out of the blue after the comments that he ignored all term began to wear him down. I am not raging with him... I would never force him to do anything hr didn't want to ... But I know he Loved it and am dad for him that the choir culture there is not like at our school where he would still be a member I am sure .....

zeno Fri 29-Nov-13 23:05:11

A constructive angle to take would be to ask what their approach is to encourage boys to sing more, in a "what can I do to support you" way.

Have a look at the Sing Up website for stuff about getting boys singing - there has been some amazing work going on around the country in schools. It takes concerted effort and expert support to shift gender balance in a choir, so don't go in behaving as though you think they just haven't bothered their arses to try hard enough.

If he does want to sing but just not as the only boy in the choir, find the area youth or junior choir.

trinity0097 Sat 30-Nov-13 00:21:29

How sad. Our school choirs are extremely well attended, by both boys and girls. One of the key things is that the only thing they miss to do choir is a slot at lunch where they have to sit and silently read for 30min. Rather than a break time or something. Boys will mainly prefer to have a playtime than sing, but would choose singing over another lunch of silent reading!

curlew Sat 30-Nov-13 00:31:37

My dd is at a boy's school with girls in the 6th. Her choir leader said yesterday that she was really pleased that there were some "proper sopranos" among the year 7s this year. Dd's rage would make the OP's pale into insignificance.......

SatinSandals Sat 30-Nov-13 07:50:05

I think that you are right in that you need to choose songs and performances that boys will like. Part of the problem, often seen on MN, is the denial that there are gender differences. There are huge differences. The timing of the choir is one if the first hurdles. My boys didn't like to spend long eating lunch because they wanted to be outside, so they were hardly likely to give up a playtime to sing. I also can't see them wanting to do it after a day at school.

OrlandoWoolf Sat 30-Nov-13 08:00:36

Sounds like a challenge for Gareth Malone.

Make singing attractive.

OrlandoWoolf Sat 30-Nov-13 08:01:47

And that's not necessarily true about gender differences.

I ran a chess club at lunch and had both boys and girls attend. I ran a computer club at lunch - equally well attended.

Shente Sat 30-Nov-13 08:08:46

The secondary school where I work has a brilliant male voice ensemble that sings contemporary songs and is much in demand. I'm sure our music teachers would be only too pleased to bring them to sing for a local primary school. Perhaps see if a local secondary has similar and offer to try and arrange a visit. Seeing "big" boys performing well (and hearing about their trips abroad with the group) might be very motivational for them

curlew Sat 30-Nov-13 08:15:03

At my ds's school, all performing arts are "for girls". Ds utterly refuses to do any more than the curriculum demands- even though he does loads of extra curricular music and drama.

The school has tried really hard to change this, but it seems ingrained.

puffinnuffin Sat 30-Nov-13 08:23:35

I have run lots of school choirs in various schools. Usually at age 7 there are quite a few boys. By Year 6 though it seems to be perceived to be very 'uncool' for a boy to sing in a choir. The way round it is make sure the style of music appeals to boys (then you can gradually work on other things too). Also a boys only choir to start with to grab enthusiasm is a good idea- it provides safety in numbers until they become more confident.

It is sad that singing isn't seen to be cool for boys. However it is very common in many schools.

EndoplasmicReticulum Sat 30-Nov-13 08:29:26

I would agree that the timing of the club is important, my other son didn't want to join because he would miss half an hour of playtime.

ICameOnTheJitney Sat 30-Nov-13 08:41:12

Our HT went on a campaign to get more boys involved...she did this by making it more attractive. She arraneged them to sing at a local hotel with a party and a gift for them all afterwards! Loads more kids signed up and went along....the hotel then arranged a tea for the kids in the new year as a thank you for singing there....the choir now has more boys in it.

curlew Sat 30-Nov-13 08:42:28

Sadly, I think it is a gender thing. My dd is in the 6th form of a boy's school- there is loads of music because they have been boys only and so haven't had the "that's for girls" stuff.

aldiconvert Sat 30-Nov-13 09:41:19

Thanks so much for all the constructive supportive ideas .... I feel calmer now and rather than go in cross and rubbing school up the wrong way like I would have done without meaning to, I can use lots of your suggestions so thanks !

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