The best pedagogical methods for little children stress logical structure, repetition, review, visual and auditory demonstration, and short-term goals and rewards. Singing Lessons for Little Singers uses all of these principles to most effectively teach its students comprehensive musicianship, as well as quality singing.
Singing Fundamentals: The first unit of Singing Lessons for Little Singers is a basic introduction for the first-time student to singing lessons. The stretches, posture, breathing and register exercises are designed to be done at the beginning of every lesson before moving on to more current exercises. Regular repetition of this routine will help the young child mentally and physically “get in the zone” for each lesson, as well as reinforce proper fundamental techniques.
Each of the subsequent units is organized around a fundamental measure of musical pitch, from a basic introduction of the scale through each interval, up to half-steps and the minor scale. (Research has shown that by introducing each pitch interval individually from the smallest up, young children are able to more successfully build their pitch accuracy and tonal quality.)
Exercises: Each unit begins with one or more exercises to help the young student become familiar with the interval being taught. These exercises should be modeled vocally by the teacher (always in the register indicated, not an octave lower!) and then accompanied for the child on the piano, transposed up and down by half-step as far as possible. While the exercises can of course be phased out as the child progresses, certain ones should periodically be reviewed and others should become part of the young child’s regular warm-up.
Songs: The songs in Singing Lessons for Little Singers are also grouped according to the interval being presented, as well as difficulty. Once the child has mastered the interval exercises at the beginning of the unit, he or she is ready to start learning the songs. It is suggested that these songs be approached as a fun activity to be learned and then frequently revisited as a game might be. In this way, the child will learn to think of singing and lessons as a pleasurable activity, rather than a chore. Additional songs appropriate to the child’s progress are suggested in the introductory statements of each unit.
Technique: At the end of each unit is a technique section designed to work on the young child’s tone, diction, flow and performing skills. These sections do not address musical intervals and can be used independent of the rest of the unit.
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