sign language

Using American Sign Language in Children's Choir

Using American Sign Language in Children's Choir

Singing is a full-body activity (source). And movement (especially for younger singers) is a valuable tool to helping children understand and engage with music. American Sign Language (ASL) is a visual form of communication among Deaf communities. ASL signs may use one or both hands/arms. Signs are comprised of certain hand shapes, orientations, and positions on the body, and many involve movement (source). This is unique because it brings the word to life in a way, pairing language with visual art. It's almost like a form of dance.

ASL works well with music, bringing new meaning to the text and giving children a tangible, physical way to interact with the music. Having motions to do while they sing also helps children stay focused in rehearsal and memorize the music more quickly.

Looking to include ASL in your children's choir? Here are a few helpful resources for getting started: