Episode 3 – Finding Your Signing Voice!

This simple, but effective vocal warm up offers the opportunity for students in all year levels to have the opportunity, in every class, to gently warm up their voice or, for those who haven’t yet, to discover their singing voice.

Video Transcription

Hi music colleagues. Great to see you! Ruth here from Take Note Music.

Today’s teaching tip is how we support students to find their singing voice. Many years ago I was writing reports and I began to reflect on, am I giving each student an opportunity a regular opportunity to discover their singing voice. If they haven’t yet had that joy and the answer was no, so I decided that to implement a vocal warm-up in each class for every year level was the answer. To take students from their monotone speaking voice to this gentle high singing voice. Their chest voice to their head voice. So the learning intentions embedded in that are that each class the students get the opportunity.

Secondly, that it establishes a routine for the beginning of each class, especially helpful for those students with anxiety. Thirdly, gentle warm up for the student voice and also the teachers and last but not least, the visual and kinesthetic confirmation of pitch going from low to high. So, how do we do this, we begin with a stretch activating the body, warming it up roll the shoulders stretch out the chest by activating the energy we can then establish a great posture ready for singing. So we’re waking up the resonators in the back of the head. Students echo. Then moving to a vowel and done very gently and sensibly. It’s so relaxing and ready, readies us for singing. As the students gradually develop their confidence, they begin to link their visual confirmation of their voice with the actual singing and the pitch.

Take Note Music has a number of products to help you with these, a couple of puppets. So we’ll start with the ghost puppet. And then students can lead and echo each other. Moving on to the singing eyes and these are great for call and response activities, so the teacher leads ‘Hill and Gully Ryder, Hill and Gully. Hill and Gully Ryder, Hill and Gully’. Then the teacher asks the students to take over the response part, and it is simply Hill and Gully each time. So it’s easy, meanwhile they’re listening to the rest of the song and learning it.

Last, but not least, we have the e-book series of Mrs Clef. This brings the stave to life with an engaging story set in the farmyard in a chicken coop. In book two, the little mice lead the singing and vocal exploration through embedded sounds and the students echo whispering voices. High voices, squeaky voices and then their singing voice. In this way for the young children it’s just an engaging story, but for older students they start to link the learning and understand the five lines and the four spaces. Within the treble stave, then they can move on to the back line master worksheets. So I hope this has been a useful tip today. Jump on the website below for more information on products.

Happy teaching you!

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