Are you a teacher at first or junior school that has zero knowledge of music, but is expected to teach singing? You’re not alone! But teaching singing doesn’t have to be complicated – and you can achieve some amazing results with a little help,There are many ways for teaching singing, so this is by no means prescriptive, but it will give you a starting point to help you to work towards your curriculum goals.
My class won’t sing!
As children get older, they become more self conscious and less willing to stand out from the crowd. So, if you’re regularly facing a class full of Key Stage 2 or Key Stage 3 children who mumble at their feet, or just plain refuse to join in, here are a few tips that might just help you to get them singing.
Do as I do, not just as I say
No-one wants to go first, so if possible, sing the song to your children first – if it’s slightly out of key, even better! This way of teaching singing will make them realise that you’re not expecting perfection from them. Just make sure that you sing with enthusiasm and without embarrassment. This then gives the children permission to do the same.
Don’t be afraid of teaching singing parts
Part singing is the perfect way to create a real sense of achievement in children. It’s also the first step towards getting them to harmonise – and potentially realize the benefits of singing in a group.
With limited musical knowledge yourself, you may think teaching singing parts is beyond your abilities – and those of your children. But it’s not. In fact you will be amazed how quickly they will learn their parts – when it is done correctly. It also makes them concentrate on something other than the fact that they are singing. So where do you start?
Well, most of our part songs are cleverly structured to be two sets of words and two tunes. Simply teach them the music the whole way through, then split them into groups and get one group to sing the first set of words and tune, the second group to sing the second. Put them together and there you have it – part singing! There is more detail on this in our teaching notes on each song.
We will post more blog updates to help with singing in the school, so please come back for the next post. If you would like more information on teaching singing and workshops then we highly recommend Sing for Pleasure