For some people teaching a new song to kids comes quite naturally, but others may find the prospect a little daunting. This post offers step by step tips for people without any musical experience, and hopefully will make it much easier teaching kids to sing a song by rote.
- To teach a song effectively the children must be listening properly, so it’s important to get the right mood without any noisy distractions.
- It’s a good idea to start off with a song that they already know, this will warm up their voices and encourage everyone to join in. They will be less reticent with a familiar song to start with.
- They will learn the new song in three stages; by listening, echoing and then remembering, so bear this process in mind as you teach them.
- Short songs are best taught all in one go as a whole song approach, and to make it easier longer ones should be broken up into sections, a phrase at a time.
- First you sing the whole song a couple of times with any actions if appropriate. This is the listening stage.
- Next invite them to hum along if they can and copy your actions, this is a great help with younger children, as these actions will become cues to memorising the words and melody. Humming is a good way for kids to ‘find’ their voice it helps to develop the ability to ‘hear’ the song inside the head.
- Repeat this stage a couple of times, and as they grow in confidence the children should all be humming along. You need to repeat the song as many times as you can without it becoming boring, taking turns to tap the rhythm or beat with some sticks or a tambourine is a good way to achieve this.
- Now sing the song line by line, and ask them to copy each line like an echo (echo stage.)
- Then sing two lines at a time, and now ask them to echo both lines at once. This is the memorising stage which also builds the ability to hear the music internally by holding it in the memory.
- Finally sing the whole song together, encouraging everyone to have a go. You might find that younger children tend to join in at the end of each line or phrase, particularly where the words rhyme. Gradually they will fill in the missing bits as they become more familiar and confident with the new song.
- As with learning all new things, repetition and practice is key, so try to find as many fun ways to repeat the song as you can, with actions, instruments or a game if appropriate.
- Don’t leave it too long before you sing it again, always review a new song the next day or next lesson to make sure it’s remembered and to consolidate the learning.
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