Singing in tune is a vital part of Kodály music and a goal for most music teachers for their students. Although it is a goal, it is not always easy to achieve. You have to work at it, even to help students to feel comfortable singing in front of others and exposing their voice, which feels very personal. I will give you some tips on how I help students feel comfortable and help them find their in-tune voice.
Helping students feel comfortable singing
How to do Vocal Play in Music Class
A major way we do vocal play in class is to have the teacher or student choose a puppet. He or she makes the puppet go high and the voice goes high and the puppet goes down as the voice goes down. The puppet goes around as the voice goes around. All students copy with his or her hand and voice, following the student or teacher who is leading.
Have some fun puppets available
Exploring vocal play through stories
Assessing vocal play
How We Reward Singing in Tune
Be careful of the language you use
I am extremely sensitive to how I talk about singing in tune. I don’t want to cause a child to grow up and be that adult who says he can’t sing because a teacher told him that. If you wanted to give a grade on a report card, you could use terms such as improving on “singing in tune” or “participates”. If a student doesn’t sing in tune, I don’t make a big fuss. We just move on and work on it again next time. When a student finally sings in tune, I do make a big fuss, and the whole class claps.
These are some ways I use to help my students find their in-tune voice. I hope you can use some of these ways to help your students.
Read about matching sol mi in kindergarten through this fun book in this blog post.