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How best to teach the words to songs (choir)

Discussion in 'Music' started by everoptimist, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. I'm wondering what is the best way to ensure that all children know all of the words to each song, when teaching a number of songs? I work in a primary school (choir made up of mainly Y3-6) Adding actions can sometimes be useful unless a song is particularly wordy (or you don't want actions). Is it best to learn orally or give them words to look at? Are there any particular activities / strategies I could use to help the words stick? I'd love some advice as I'm a confident musician and teacher but have no idea when it comes to singing - making running a choir a good challenge! (Plus I'm terrible at remembering words to songs myself.)
  2. There are so many things to say here. The first is that very young singers are generally surprisingly good at aural learning and retaining words and melodies to songs. They find it much easier than adults. Giving the year groups you mentioned song sheets can actually have a detrimental effect as many will not be able to read at the correct speed. I have found that the songs get learned with some words missed out if they are trying to read lyrics.I have sent sheets home for lyrics to be leaned for homework and this works with some.

    Other points to mention include you saying one line and them repeating or you saying one line and them saying the next. Going round a circle saying one line each. Repetition is key. Simply singing a song over and over from the start is probably the least effective way - work one section at a time, keep it short.

    Don't forget there is a melody to learn too. Try singing this to La, you will be able to hear if the pitch is correct. Children this age find it quite hard to pitch accurately - their vocal apparatus is still not fully under their controll.-lots of regular singing helps this. It does also mean than younger singers need to warm up and also that rehearsals can't go oon to long. They tire much quicker than adults.

    Sos about typos, im on a tablet
  3. That's great thanks. Just what I was after! I'd thought of some of these things before but that certainly gives me some more things to think about and put in place. Really appreciated.
  4. Hi
    Musical tones are a language of sorts themselves. Think of the themes to popular TV shows. The tunes can actually reinforce the title of said shows without even singing. e.g. Blankety blank, blankety blank, (showing my age now!) Of course, one needs to understand the lyrics first.
    That said, you can divide up the text into musical phrases and practice the textual phrases individually. This also tends to reinforce the meaning in most lyrics. I think most of us have experienced kids who totally misinterpret the lyrics if they haven't the contextual background.


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