Friday, May 6, 2016

Ways to Get Children to Sing Louder

Requiring that children sing louder than their voices are capable of is dangerous to their voices. Avoid forcing children to artificially increase their voices, and select music that is appropriate to their range. There are many ways to increase the sound of a child’s voice, but always keep the health and best interest of the child in mind. Children’s voices are still developing, so use methods that allow the voice to develop naturally and healthily. Don't ever let them scream or sing louder than their voices can handle.

Breath Support


Teach the children proper breath support to increase their ability to sing with a full volume. Show the children how to breathe into their diaphragms by asking them to yawn. When we yawn, we take in a full breath and hold it in our stomachs. Make sure they are not breathing into the chest. Breathing into the chest creates a shallow and weak sound. One good exercise to improve this is to ask the child to breathe in for four beats and out for eight beats. Practice this sequence five to 10 times at the beginning of each session.

Pronunciation


While correct pronunciation doesn’t help a child to sing louder, it can create the perception of a louder voice. When children are not able to enunciate each word in a song, they lose their ability to project to the audience. Clearly articulated syllables will greatly help the voice to travel over a longer distance and make it intelligible. If you are teaching a children's choir, ensure that each child is singing the syllables the same way.

Intonation


Children that have the ability to sing in tune will have more resonant and powerful voices. Poor intonation dulls and weakens the sound of the child’s voice. Practice with a piano to help the child learn where the pitch resides in his voice. Another exercise that is useful is to sing a note and have the child match the tone. Then, ask the child to lower and raise his voice so that he can hear what it sounds like to sing out of tune. With daily practice, this exercise will help improve their intonation.

Posture


One of the best things that you can do to help children to increase their volume is to teach them good posture. Tell them to imagine there is a string pulling up on the top of the head. Ask them to stand up straight and keep their shoulders back and relaxed. The jaw should be free of tension and the tongue should be slightly raised in a relaxed position.


References


"Sound Advice: Becoming a Better Children's Choir Conductor"; Jean Ashworth Bartle; 2003