8 Concepts That Work For Younger Voice Students

This is the 3rd and final post in a short group that grew from getting a terrific video of a 6-year-old voice student. The 1st blog entitled You’re How Old Taking Voice Lessons was a celebration in teaching younger voices. The Second blog called 7 Unhealthy Habits, was a list of caution.

Voice Teacher
I now present you with 8 concepts that work for a voice teacher with young voices. Again, these ideas are all in part to a super teacher on our Atlanta Staff, Mrs. Sally Rose Bates. Here is what she says:

Find Your Space

1. [u] vowel and the [ng] are great to help a young singer find their space and ring without squeezing the laryngeal muscles…in turn this leads to them singing forward and freely on an air stream = healthy singing.

Sound Like A Child

2.  In our job, it is easy to start out with a preconceived idea of what a voice should sound like, and children are sensitive to that more than anybody else. It takes a lot of practice and confidence to really start from what the child does.

Speaking Voice

3. Always consider and listen to the speaking voice as well as the singing, which involves the child’s vocal usage within  the family system.  Do they scream a lot when at play, for example.

Breath Freely

4. In my experience, if you explain to parents the approach to breathing freely and fully, the resonance, the release of the neck, the face, the parents like it and get it.

Tune In

5. Short exercises over a small range to start with, an understanding of gentle breathing and how to use the abdominal muscles to help the sound to flow freely, good posture (whole body work) and a great deal of emphasis on the aural skills – if they can’t sing in tune over a small range of mainly next door notes they are going to have major problems when they come to a song with a normal pitch range let alone something more advanced.

Fun And Positive for Younger Voice Students

6. Be very careful how you phrase any ‘criticism’ of what they are doing and don’t forget to find something positive to say each and every time.

Be The Energizer Bunny

7. Don’t forget to be enthusiastic and give praise even when going over old ground for seemingly or even actually the 100th time.

Posture Perfect

8. As far as strictly areas of vocal technique I would focus in the order of posture, breathing and a healthy airflow then leading to the mechanics of production.
Hope you enjoyed the notes, now lets go teach awesome music lessons!

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