Gender Gap in Church Choirs

Discussion in 'Music Ministry' started by Paul3144, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. Paul3144

    Paul3144
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    I've noticed that most church choirs have significantly more women than men in them. In mine, we have about twice as many women than men. What do you think is the cause of this phenomenon and what can be done to attract men to choir?
     
  2. matt wade

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    I've noticed the gender disparity in choirs as well. The only thing I can think of is that a lot of guys think singing is for sissys. I don't agree with them (I'm in the choir), but I know that many guys feel that way.
     
  3. mandym

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    Phenomenon? Man people just seem to need an issue. Good grief
     
  4. padredurand

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    It's not just church choirs. madre contracts her piano playing skills to two local school districts. Girls outnumber the boys 2:1 in their programs.
     
  5. Paul3144

    Paul3144
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    :applause: It's good to see you get involved with choral singing.

    My school chorus in high school was even more gender disparate.

    The problem is that in choirs with too few men you run into balance issues and end up with a top-heavy sound. If the acoustics in the building are such that the choir sings with amplification, it may be possible to simply amplify the men more. However, I'd view that as a least worst option as opposed to an ideal.
     
  6. Paul3144

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    What's your issue?
     
  7. matt wade

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    Yeah, seems like you need one.
     
  8. 12strings

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    I think it is a symptom of a much larger issue of a lack of men in every area of service and responsibility and ministry and productive life: Here are a few observations:

    -Women outnumber men significantly in the overall church attendance.
    -Women Bible Studies are generally larger than men's.
    -Women have passed men in the percentage of high-school, college, Graduate, & Doctoral degrees.
    -Among the poorer peoples of America, It is generally the woman who holds a family together, as the men in her life may come and go over the years.
    -Many Men today have a distorted need to feel "manly," which drives them to avoid seemingly weak things and gravitate toward things where they can prove their man-hood. (like hunting, drinking, attracting women). Singing is not seen as one of these.
    -Women pray more than men. (at least in every church I've bee in).

    Also, many women may join a choir for the community aspect, whereas men probably don't see a choir in that way, more of a task to accomplish.

    That's my 2 cents,
    P.S. What are my qualifications for writing this?
    -I am a man
    -I direct a chuch choir
    -I teach teenagers
    -I married a woman
    -I listen to NPR
     
  9. billwald

    billwald
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    Christianity historically has been a religion for women run by men.
     
  10. SaggyWoman

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    At the church I am attending right now, as with the former, there appear to be a male dominated band. Women sing. Men play in the band. Although, if you stick a mike in front of the guitar player, it is all good. Have you thought of developing a band?
     
  11. dcorbett

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    My hubby powerlifted and played football in college
    as well as went to Vietnam, he shoots #1 in the pistol league - iron sights, I could go on and on...he is about a macho man as a woman could dream of....and he LOVES to sing in the choir. He has a degree in music, did I fail to mention that?? :smilewinkgrin:
     
  12. matt wade

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    I don't agree with that way of thinking, but it is unfortunately the way a lot of guys think. I'm glad to hear you husband doesn't think that way. I personally enjoy singing in the choir :).
     
  13. glfredrick

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    Mostly, men in the church are a lazy bunch that won't do anything except argue like they do here on the board.

    We've created a wimpy church over the years since the Civil War, and most of what is done in church is not attractive at all to men. They tolerate it, largely because they have been trained or radically saved and cannot stay away, but all this lovey-dovey stuff, sissified pastors that only talk about golf, songs that are distinctly feminine singing about things that almost sound like a woman's love letter, and failure to emphasize the warfare element of the faith.

    We lack understanding about respect, the language of men, and major in love, the language of women. Men's Bible studies are almost exactly the sort of stuff that men dislike -- just like women school teachers they recall -- instead of challenging them with difficult topics and causing them to lay their lives on the line for the faith.

    If we can figure out some of this stuff, men will once again be a part of the church.

    About choir? Robes? Anthems? Archaic song style? Stand in front of everyone? Really? Best thing ever is to eliminate the practice save for a once-in-a-while special event.

    Oh, and I'm a real man also... I am competent, I am strong, I am a leader at home and in church, I challenge other men (iron sharpens iron), I am loved and respected by my wife and family, and I don't chase other men from the church. I have sung in the choir, but probably never again. Give me a good worship band any day.
     
  14. Gina B

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    It would be awesome to see more men! I did attend one church where we had an even number, that was some years back and it was a smaller church.

    We've gained a couple more men in ours recently and I'm not sure, but I *think* it helped that the choir director did a special where it was an all men's choir and invited ALL THE MEN to sign up for it just that once, to sing one song on one day.

    But the reason why they don't in the first place? Well, I can kinda guess, and my guess is that we women still are the primary caregivers to the children in our families. If we join choir, it is one of the rare times when we have very specific times that we can make our husbands watch the kids and NOT FEEL GUILTY! Hey, we're doing this for the Lord, and we know that's something they're going to have a really hard time saying no to. We'd be stupid not to take advantage of that one. :laugh:

    That said, both DH and I are in choir. (or were, depending on whether we stay there or not after the recent spit attack by the resident gossiping drama llama)
     
  15. nodak

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    Well, if a Baptist church is sissified its a good bet the MEN made it that way, since women are not allowed in senior leadership:)
     
  16. glfredrick

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    Actually, though I expect that you said this rather tongue-in-cheek, you may have uttered more truth than you know. While men have been in leadership, they have not been in "followership" (otherwise known as fellowship and/or discipleship). Thus, our "clergy" (I dislike that term, for we are all considered ministers according to Scripture) has learned to preach to and lead to women who predominate the average congregation and more, do most of the actual work around the church in a lot of cases (and in some cases while the men hang around the back doors thinking of ways to get out of the same work!).

    David Murrow on his site "Church for Men" presents the case for men in the church strongly (and note that I do not often agree with the things or the track taken with the man and/or his site):
    http://churchformen.com/

    He offers a test to see if your church is "man friendly" or not:
    http://churchformen.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Guy_Friendly_Test.pdf
     
  17. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Do churches even have choir's these days.....the one I have certainly doesn't. While we are at it, I visited with a Baptist church in NJ yesterday & they had multiple stained glass windows....is that a common among Baptists? Maybe I got to get out more!
     
  18. Paul3144

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    I do see how song selection can have an effect on the number of men in choir. One good idea is to do a song with just the men every now and then. We're doing a song for Christmas that's for a soloist and a four-part mens' choir. However, unlike in Gina's case, it's just for the men in choir; it's not a special group.
     
  19. Brian30755

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    If there were a "Like" button here, like on FaceBook, I would have just clicked it.

    I was talking with my wife just the other day about this same thing. I said "You know, I really don't like singing songs in church that makes it sound like Jesus is my boyfriend. He's my Lord. He's my Savior. He's my King. But he's not my boyfriend." Some of the "worship" songs we sing these days, a girl could sing to her boyfriend without changing a single word.
     
  20. glfredrick

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    Seeing as how EVERY Baptist church is different from EVERY OTHER Baptist church, save for some commonality in their faith and practice, it is not surprising at all about what you saw or did not see.

    And, yes my friend, you DO have to get out more. You are what, 17 months into this venture called Christianity, and already making value judgments about what is right or wrong with just about everything? :laugh:

    Perhaps you ARE a Baptist... :wavey:
     

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