Inspiring active, involved, in-tune and beautiful singing can be elusive for many Primary Music Leaders. It doesn't just happen as a natural result of lots of FUN and GAMES.
Children need to hear and watch good singing MODELED for them. And they need FEEDBACK to help them figure out how they make their own voices work.
Following a Music Leader who can DEMONSTRATE good singing is crucial. Most young children do not have opportunities in their families or at school to learn how to sing. They may be surrounded by recorded music and singing, but few children naturally respond to recorded music they way they do with someone singing with them LIVE.
One of my grandsons was born with an unusually low voice. He had trouble singing in anything beyond a monotone. For the past year, I have been teaching him piano lessons. As an eight year old now, he has been progressing through his piano lessons, but I wondered if I could also help him find his singing voice.
At each lesson, we sing the little songs as he learns to play them. Little by little, he has been learning to hear and match pitches with his voice. It helps him to look at the RELATIONSHIPS between steps and skips on the written music and how his fingers manage the distances on the keys. We have worked with his voice the same way exploring how to adjust his BREATHING, SUPPORT, and MOUTH POSITIONS to match the changing pitches. He has my voice to model as well as my feedback to tell him when he is correct. These exercises have really helped. Now he can actually sing in the Treble Clef! He is also doing very well at vocally matching pitches on his own. He just needed someone to help him discover his own singing voice.
I am certain that many children need help finding their own singing voices. They need help figuring out how to match pitches and support their tone. They need a good example to follow to learn good tone quality. Having a ROLE MODEL who loves singing and sings well can also help children learn to enjoy singing.
The Music Leader in Primary needs to really LISTEN to the children and and WATCH how they are participating. They should always take time to assess their teaching methods to EVALUATE if they are working. How else will they know if they are truly getting the kids to SING in Primary?