How to Teach Singing to Primary School Children
When it comes to singing, many teachers are slightly afraid! It’s normal to feel a little shy about singing in public. After all, unlike playing an instrument, singing is like sharing a personal part of you out loud. Fortunately, we don’t usually develop this insecurity about singing until we hit puberty, so your pupils should, by and large, be happy to sing during their time at primary school. It’s, therefore, very important that we don’t project our insecurities onto them.
It’s a requirement of the national curriculum for Music, the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Framework, and the new National Plan for Music Education that children regularly sing, meaning teachers will be singing regularly too! The important thing to remember about singing is that it’s a skill that can be learnt like any other. Yes, there will always be people blessed with more beautiful voices than others, but everyone can learn to sing to a basic level.
In this blog, we’ll guide you through becoming more confident about singing, using video examples to help you understand each type of singing technique.
As you will learn in this video, posture for singing isn’t just about ‘standing up straight’, as many of us were told when we were children. The correct posture when singing is upright but relaxed, eliminating any tension in the joints, which allows you to direct all your body’s energy into the process of singing.
You might think that you already know how to breathe; after all, it’s kept you alive this far! However, as you’ll find in this video, there is a specific technique for breathing while singing, which helps us take the maximum amount of breath possible to power our singing.
Breathing doesn’t just involve taking a breath in; you also need to let it out again in a controlled manner so that you can support the sound of your singing. This is something that children often find quite difficult, so there are some tips in this video that will help you to teach this technique.
Your voice has different registers; as a general rule, it’s much safer to sing in your ‘head register’, particularly for children. This video explains the difference between the vocal registers and how to find your head register.
When singing, it’s important to project your voice, just like actors do with their speaking voices on a stage. This helps the sound to carry but also helps to create a pleasant tone, over which you have more technical control. This video shows you some tricks to get your voice to project safely.
Once you’ve established your posture, breathing technique, head register positioning, and projection, you’re set up to sing well. As well as watching the videos to help your own singing ability, the ideas from these videos can also be used for children. Kapow Primary’s Music scheme has more videos about leading singing, conducting, working in multiple parts, staff notation and other key skills.
If you’re inspired to do more singing with your class, have a look at the units below, which have a particular focus on singing.