A NEW music label offering songs for families and church groups to sing together has been launched to encourage different generations of the same family or community to try singing.
The label, Same Boat Music, has been launched by Out of the Ark Music, which already distributes songs in more than 18,000 primary schools in the UK. The new label hopes to reach beyond schools with songs that can be sung by families at home and in churches.
Andy Bodkin, who is managing the new label, is a former managing director of Christian Copyright Licensing International. He had encountered a “constant need”, he said, from worship leaders and ministers, for better songs for children to sing at home and in church.
The intergenerational aspect of singing, which was once enjoyed by families together as an evening’s activitiy, has now all but died out, he said.
“Gone are the days of an evening’s entertainment sitting around the piano, singing songs or listening to a piece being sung to us. Occasionally, we may still all listen to the same song on TV, or on the radio in the car, but my guess is we are all listening via headphones or a digital device in our own rooms.
“This detracts from the shared experience, and, yes, we all have different tastes in music, and of course music can be enjoyed as a solitary experience; but I believe that there is something very powerful when we connect with music together.”
Research from Out of the Ark had, he said, shown the positive impact that singing had on learning and children’s self-esteem.
A research project that it published this year showed that, after a term of singing in 24 schools, teachers recorded a ten-per-cent increase in listening and reading skills, and an 11-per-cent increase in the pupils’ performance in maths, as well as an increase in the children’s self confidence.
Mr Bodkin said: “Singing together helps bring about social cohesion, and has a positive effect on our well-being. Through our discussions with children’s leaders in the Church of England and other denominations, we know that singing songs can naturally help start conversations on difficult subjects, such as bullying and self esteem. We believe that singing can transform lives and break barriers not only in individuals, but in families, churches, and whole communities.
“There is also something powerful about a child singing a song in church, and then being able to bring that experience home and relive it as they sing it again.”
Same Boat Music has launched an online resource which will feature hundreds of songs with accompanying music and video resources, to encourage families and communities to sing and grow together.
“The songs that we sing together help shape the way we think, the way we act, and the way we view ourselves and the world around us,” Mr Bodkin said. “We don’t just write songs for the sake of writing songs: we passionately believe that songs can make a real difference in your life and the life of kids.”