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Why do middle schoolers choose Choir?

I'm always looking for perspectives from my colleagues:
1. Why do middle-schoolers choose Choir as an elective/after-school activity?
2. Why do they stay in Choir?
I've seen several lists at various places, but I'd like something from your experience--and a little more in-depth.
on August 31, 2013 4:39am
Honestly, some of them have parents that make them stay in choir. Some of them do it because they love singing, some of them do it because they are drawn to the teacher or the social aspect of it. As for staying in choir, if you make it fun and pick music they can connect with, and they are successful, they usually stay. My former students often tell me that they loved the music I picked, and that is one of the reasons they enjoyed it. 
on August 31, 2013 5:27am
The best reply I've ever heard to this question comes from my dear friend and mentor Brad White - long time respected Texas choral director. He says high school kids choose SUBJECTS they are interested in and stay with them if they llike them. Middle school kids, on the other hand, choose TEACHERS they like and stay with them if they loved and challenged and understood.  Eventually, as the MS kids get older, they learn to care about the music, but in the beginning, they sign up for teachers, not subjects. So, you have to be the teacher whose class they want to be in.
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on August 31, 2013 7:24am
My experience has shown that students STAY in choir because it's a safe place for them to be.  They know that whatever "drama" they are living will be left at the door, and they can come into the room with their classmates and have fun.  Making mistakes is not a big deal in my choir classes, and we all laugh together at innocent mistakes.  Sometimes students are "put" into choirs because no other elective is available to them.  Staying in choir is their choice, and in that case I agree with Mary Jane Phillips--the teacher can make the difference for middle-schoolers.
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