Our special guest on the FULL VOICE Podcast is Mr. Ben Bowen of Mr. Ben's Open Door Music. He is a Preschool Children's Music Educator from Hamilton, Ontario. He discusses the challenges of facilitating immersive music programs for children under the age of 5 years old and how he uses classical music and songwriting to keep his students (and himself) inspired and engaged.Read More
Technical exercises, warm-ups, and repertoire development are the core of a great lesson, but Nikki has a list of "other" topics and activities that will come up in a comprehensive vocal music lesson for students of any age. Listen to the Podcast #39 and find out how you can help your students enjoy a lifetime of musical opportunities.Read More
If you are working with young singers, you are working with Moms and Dads. In podcast #38, Nikki shares some simple strategies to healthy and harmonious relationships with the people you do business with.Read More
Voice Teacher and pedagogue, Dana Lentini shares her passion and detailed research about teaching young children to sing. She discusses the Young Singing Larynx and how it changes through childhood and puberty. Her recent study addresses many of the "myths" about working with young singers in the private teaching studio.Read More
In this podcast, Voice Teacher and SAVVY business Coach, Michelle Markwart Deveaux talks about connecting and participating with a supportive community of colleagues. Michelle is the creator and facilitator of the "SpeakEasy Co-learning Cooperative and shares fantastic insight about maintaining a positive, growth mindset in this competitive industry.Read More
My very special guest, Sarah Whitten talks about connecting the singer to the whole body, posture vs alignment and how she uses her extensive training in Yoga and Voice to help her voice students.Read More
Although our podcast is usually about working with kids - Avocational Adults are a growing demographic for many private studio teachers. There are definite pros and cons to working with this demographic. We share some simple strategies for making these lifetime singers a wonderful part of your teaching day!Read More
Our special Guest, Amanda Broadfoot is a passionate voice and piano teacher from Tallahassee Florida. She is the Creative Director of Making Light Productions - a non profit, inclusive theatre arts education program for children of all abilities. Amanda is sharing her teaching story and encouraging and inspiring strategies for teachers who are working with special needs children.Read More
In this podcast, professional actor, singer, music educator, Nate Plummer shares his expertise for helping our young students with their acting skills. Nate specializes in Theatre for Youth, and he shares fantastic teaching strategies - Everything from making students comfortable in the lesson to the three magic questions that every performer needs to ask before singing a song. This podcast will help your young singers dive into dramatic storytelling and bring their next performances to the next level.Read More
This podcast is for the contemporary commercial music teachers who are interested in giving their singers the opportunity to work with an ensemble. (Because friends don't let friends play Taylor Swift songs on the piano!)Read More
In podcast #30 we are talking about our relationship with money and how it has a direct effect on how we run our businesses. Includes a top ten (+) list of how teachers can earn more money in their music teaching studios. Sing long and prosper!Read More
Our special guest, world renown LA vocal coach, John Henny shares his expertise, insight and strategies when teaching long distance voice lessons (skype lessons) and talks about his new online course, The New Science of Singing.Read More
Happy New Year! Looking for some New Year's inspiration? Our Studio Spotlight features Nicola Cantan from Dublin, Ireland. She is a piano teacher, resource creator, music teaching blogger and the creator of the 30-Day Music Teaching Studio Refresh! Happy New Year? Yes, indeed!Read More
This podcast is the 2nd part about Effective Lesson pacing for Young Singers. Nikki shares ten teacher and student tested activities that can help singers learn about their voices and develop musicianship skills. They are fun, educational activities, games, and exercises that are guaranteed to make your singers smile. (And make them better singers)
Ten Fun and Educational Activities for Young Singers.
Young singers in the private lesson studio need so much more than just technical exercises and repertoire development. Beginners (of any age) need a safe place to discover and explore their voices, and they need to develop basic music skills. Using fun and educational activities, games and exercises will not only help your students to develop the voice; but they will also keep them engaged and learning. (Keeping them in lessons longer!) Here are our top 10 teacher and student tested activities (with links to resources).
1. Tonic Sol-fa (moveable DO) Games and Activities
Games that encourage independent and unaccompanied singing are crucial to helping a student build their confidence in the lesson studio or classroom. The tonic sol-fa system allows teachers to step away from the piano and students to sing accapella. Check out our 6-minute masterclass "Introduction to tonic sol-fa) using the mini tonic sol-fa cards here. Download free tonic sol-fa cards from our free teacher resources page.
2. Listening/Ear Training games
Major and minor triads, interval identification - let your beginners describe the sounds they are hearing with their own words.
3. Tongue Twisters
Tongue twisters will not only make your singers smile, they will open up great learning/teaching opportunities about our unique instrument and how the tongue, lips and teeth work together to make sounds. (Free tongue twister pages HERE)
4. Copy Cat Singing Games/Call and Answer
Start by singing one note or very small intervals and have the student sing it back to you. As your students' confidence and skills grow you can move to longer melodies with larger intervals.
5. Copy Cat Rhythm Games
Clapping, tapping and singing rhythmic patterns is an important skill. Don't wait to do this when they are at the intermediate level. This is a fun activity that will prepare them for exams or auditions. If you have a percussion instrument handy - let them use it.
6. Clapping/Tapping/moving to the beat of the music
Singers who struggle to feel the beat or pulse of a song will have difficulties with repertoire. Play some moderately paced music and:
a) make them tap/clap/or just move to the quarter notes.
b) clap or tap on beats 2 and 4
c) discuss why they should never clap/tap on beats 1 & 3
7. Written Theory Work
Everyone knows you remember more when you write it down. (That's why we made the FULL VOICE resource a workbook with plenty of written activities for singers) Young singers enjoy working through music theory exercises on paper (don't assign them for homework) and writing can help slow down the students who just want to do everything too quickly.
8. White Board Station
Kids love writing on a white board. Whether it is drawing treble clefs or learning the notes on the staff, why not make it more fun with a white board and coloured markers. (We highly recommend the Ultimate Music Theory Whiteboards. Two different sizes and the boards come with a piano keyboard at the top and two music staves. (and markers and a cute eraser too. You can find them here)
9. Exploring the Score/Repertoire Hide and Seek
Beginner singers are new to music notation, so that piece of music that you just put in front of them is probably stressing them out. Take the time to talk through the score and let your singers ask questions about the symbols and the weird way the text is written out. Reading text aloud is always a great idea before starting a new song.
Whether it is good old fashioned note naming flashcards or maybe your teaching studio is all about ipads and technology, flashcards and flashcard games provide a fun activity that makes learning quick and easy. We also recommend the Ultimate Music Theory flashcards. (over 7000 flashcards)
1. New year - new activities. Pick an activity that you have NEVER tried before with your students and give it a try. Let us know how it goes with your students in the comments below.
2. Try these activities with your older students. Most of these activities can be "ramped" up, becoming challenges for your intermediate and advanced students.
3. If you have any other activities that you and your students just LOVE – please leave it in the comments below. We love to hear what you are doing in your teaching studio.
Great lesson pacing in the private teaching studio is always challenging! There are so many things to consider when facilitating fun, education vocal music curriculums. The first part is all about STUDENT FOCUSED TEACHING. How do you know if your lesson pacing is working? Listen to the podcast to find out!Read More
In this podcast, we are sharing simple teaching strategies that can help your beginner students (of any age) who are preparing for their first performances. With proper preparation, better communication and understanding support - even your "shyest" students can shine on your recitalRead More
Have you ever wondered what vocal exercises your colleagues are using in their teaching studios? In this podcast, we bring back expert music educators and ask them about their favorite vocal warms up and technical exercises.Read More
This podcast is all about jaw tension including temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ) and Bruxism. Our special guest, Registered Physiotherapist Claire Corbett shares her clinical expertise about this condition and offers some strategies for caring for the jaw.Read More
There are only a few weeks left in this glorious summer season. Many of you are busy getting your fall schedule organized (!) and setting your studios up for another year of teaching. This podcast includes 6 fantastic teacher tips that can save you time, money and your sanity. Follow these steps and you and your returning students will have one incredible year of singing!Read More