Many music educators (us included) use the Kodaly Method when teaching young children to sing. This teaching style, named after Hungarian composer and philosopher Zoltan Kodaly, directs us to introduce skills based on a child’s abilities and continue to build as the child masters each skill set.
Zoltan believed, “Singing is the instinctive language of the child.” And I couldn’t agree with him more! I would also add that when we guide children in exploring their voices, the journey can be a lot of fun.
As caregivers and teachers we have this amazing opportunity to enable exploration of singing while remaining wonderfully childlike, playful, imaginary and fun. It’s important for children to explore their voices, make different sounds and learn how our voices are musical instruments. Here are some of our favorite activities you can do with your child to unlock the world of vocal exploration.
- Children LOVE recording their voices and hearing themselves played back! Remember how surprised you were the first time you heard your recorded voice? How different your recorded voice sounds from what you hear in real time?A great and easy way to record your child’s voice is to use a mini-recorder or you can upload a program called Garage Band for FREE on your computer. Have your child sing any song or even just talk into the microphone and play it back for him to hear. Then sing a song together and play it back.
- Another great activity is “singing shapes.” On a dry-erase board or a big notepad, draw any shape you want and have your child sing it. When your shape is low, then you sing low, if it goes up higher, sing higher. This is an opportunity to explore the range of your voice and learn low and high while exploring different vocal sounds.
- Show your child how the vocal cords work, using a balloon to demonstrate it. Blow up a balloon and let the air out without pinching the balloon opening. The balloon makes no sound. Then, blow up the balloon again, and this time pinch the neck of the balloon so the balloon makes squealing noises as air is released. That’s how your vocal cords work! Cool, huh?
Teaching young children to sing is more than just singing. Using the Kodaly Method, we at Little Wing have many fun activities to introduce kids to the skills necessary to sing on pitch and in tune. And we have a lot of fun doing it.
If you’d like to explore an in-person young rocker program please call 952.934.7625 for more information on Little Wing, where your preschooler will learn the fundamentals of singing as part of an early music education curricula.