My thoughts...Wisdom from over the years

Teaching kids to sing Part 2

Posted in: Blog, tip of the week ♦ Monday, May 21st, 2012, 4:26 am ♦ No Comments on Teaching kids to sing Part 2

Teaching Kids to Sing

Moving Up and Down

The largest hurdle to overcome with a child that has difficulty matching pitch with you is to get the child out of the comfort of his own speaking range.  Having established the difference between high and low pitches, you can move forward in trying to get him/her more comfortable with the higher parts of their range. Typically, singing HIGHER is the more difficult skill to master.

So try the “Airplane Game”.  Pretending to be an airplane taking off, squat down and have the child do so as well. Start off with a really low pitch, the lowest pitch you can muster. As you physically begin to rise up, bring your arms alongside up as well until you are standing and looking like you’re about to take off! At the same time, raise your pitch up as well. Extend your body all the way straight and start to raise your arms over your head and stand on your tip-toes. At this point your pitch should be at the top of your range. Then go back down, gradually lowering your arms to your sides (and your pitch as well) until your body is back in the same position that you started from. The child should then mimic you. Do this until he “gets it” making sure he’s not substituting volume for pitch! That is a very common mistake for kids when they’re first starting out.

Depending on the age of the kids you work with, this game can be varied. It works well with groups of kids or individual kids as well.

Be Sensitive!

When working with groups of kids its very important to be aware of how easily embarrassed a child can get by singing a wrong note. Imagine how YOU would feel singing a wrong note in front a group of your peers. Kids will tend to react with laughter when it becomes obvious that someone is singing out of tune. So please be careful.  To the extent that it’s possible try to NOT specifically point out WHO may be singing incorrectly, but rather speak more generically to the group and practice the games with EVERYONE at the same time. When it DOES become obvious (as it frequently does) WHO the out of tune singer is, breeze through dealing with it very non-chalantly.  Make sure to find something GREAT about that kid before your rehearsal is over to counter any negative thing that may have occurred in the little one’s heart.

More on working with kids next time!


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