One other issue that’s a little bit dicier and controversial–it seems to me that many males do not sing because they consider it…sissy. Women’s work. Red-blooded, football-loving males do NOT sing!
(I won’t use the “g” word because I think it sounds hurtful, but I do think it’s in the minds of the men and boys who won’t sing–they don’t want anyone to think that they are ___).
Think about it–when Dad stands there like a stone statue during the hymns, not even opening the hymnal to follow along with the words and meditate upon them–what’s Son going to do? Imitate his beloved Dad, of course! That’s usually a good thing–we want little boys to imitate their daddies.
But daddies who don’t and WON’T sing, or even open the hymnal, are WRONG WRONG WRONG! They are teaching their boys to disregard liturgical music, which has been the task of the MEN in church for many centuries before the men in the United States in the 20th century decided not to sing or play anymore because “the music is toooo hard for me! Why don’t they just sing songs that we know? I’m not capable of learning anything new.”
So IMO, one of the main reasons why people don’t sing at Mass (Ordinary Form) is that the MEN don’t sing at Mass.
I suggest that any parish music “reform movements” or music education movements should be targeted toward the MEN, not the women.
And I also suggest, with boldness, that Catholic schools do NOT allow the boys to play sports unless they are members of the school choir! It used to be this way in school–the boys who were the sports stars were also the leads in the school musical. No more—again, the boys seem to think that performing music (other than ROCK!) is for the women-folk.
Men, time to step up! You want chant? Then seek out a trained musician and start studying and practicing it! You want good Mass music? Then join the choir ! When there are enough of you, the music will sound strong and bold, and people in the congregation will be edified by it and join in with your leading of the hymns!
Oh, I hope to live to see the day!