Ministers were today launching a £10 million national campaign to encourage primary school children and their teachers to sing more often.
The Education Secretary Alan Johnson, himself a big music fan, said music can help pupils develop in other areas, such as self-confidence and language skills.
Composer and TV presenter Howard Goodall will lead the campaign, which will also include a new 21st century songbook listing 30 songs for singing in class.
Speaking ahead of a conference in London, Mr Johnson said: "As well as being a worthwhile activity for its own sake, music is a powerful learning tool which can build children's confidence, teamwork and language skills.
"A better musical education for pupils can also help them hit the right note in their studies."
Department for Education officials said the new national songbook would contain songs from a range of genres, such as classical, pop and folk.
Pupils and singing teachers will nominate their favourite songs to be included in the songbook.
The drive will also see more choir schools working with other schools in the area to encourage more children to sing, with summer schools and master classes.
The national singing campaign will be funded with £10 million from the Department for Education.
Mr Goodall said learning to sing was an essential way into enjoying music for all children.
"I am passionate about the dynamic and inspirational effect of music on young people," he said.
"For me, singing in particular is every child's first, intuitive access to the world of music, but it is also a powerful and often untapped resource for social cohesion.
"There is barely an adult alive who does not wish they could sing with more confidence or that they had had a better start with their voices as children."Reuse content