“Sing again, with your dear voice revealing A tone Of some world far from ours, Where music and moonlight and feeling Are one.” - Percy Bysshe Shelley
Most kids in the UK will learn some music at school. For those that learn a musical instrument like the piano, guitar, or recorder, they’ll probably also learn some music theory. Generally, they’ll learn a bit about singing, too.
Whether it’s an introduction to music, lessons at a music school, or choir practice, there are a few ways for kids to learn about singing. According to “Singing Europe”, there are almost 37 million choir or choral group members in Europe. This just goes to show how popular singing is. To learn more about music from an early age, singing classes are great for kids. However, kids can very quickly lose interest or not have any interest, to begin with.
So what are singing lessons like? What will they learn? What activities will they do?
All these answers, and many more, can be found in this article.
Singing Lessons for Kids: The First Steps
“The total person sings not just the vocal cords.” - Esther Broner
During the first singing lesson, a child will quickly understand what it is and what they’ll be doing. This isn’t about singing in front of the bathroom mirror, but rather doing vocal exercises and learning how to master your voice.
When a teacher is there, the goal is to help the child to progress. To do this, you might want to schedule a meeting with the teacher.
Whether it’s online lessons, private tutorials, or group workshops, singing takes work.
Does your child like pop music? They can talk to their teacher about it? Would they like to improve their pitch? Why not work on it together?
All these things may seem inconsequential but the more that tutor or teacher knows about the student, the better they can help the student. The same is true when working with adults as these can help the tutor to put together lessons that work for the student.
They can adapt the lessons to their level, what they want to learn, and how they like to learn. The tutor might ask about the following:
Their knowledge of music theory and reading sheet music.
- The child’s expectations for their lessons.
- Their experience with singing.
- The types of music that they like.
- Their tessitura.
- Their vocal timbre.
- Their posture.
- Their breath control.
- Their pitch.
- Among other things.
As you’ll have understood, the first steps are some of the most important as they’ll set you or your child on the path to learning how to sing. Of course, this will set the direction but that doesn’t mean it can’t change.
So what is a typical singing lesson like?
Singing Lessons for Kids: Warming Up
Let’s take an hour-long lesson as an example. During an hour, you can get an awful lot done in terms of practice and theory.
Like with sports, every singing lesson will start with a warm-up.
Whether your child is in a nursery, primary school, or secondary school, they shouldn’t start singing without warming up their voice. As the tutor or teacher will already have an idea about their ability and level, they can adapt their warm-ups to them.
In a group class, the warm-ups will be more generalised to get the whole group ready and in a mood for singing. During the warm-ups, the teacher will get a better idea of each child’s behaviour and any bad habits they may have. This is the best time for them to make any corrections.
What Do Children Work on in a Singing Lesson?
“If you're gonna sing, sing loud.” - Travis Tritt
After warming up, which can take a few minutes, students will be ready to sing and work on their singing. Generally, most lessons for kids will be split into two main parts.
Working on Technique
After warming up, now’s the time to start working on your singing techniques. Adults and children alike can work on the technical side of their singing.
These exercises will focus on minutia. The activities will be adapted to the student’s age, level, and preferred learning style.
The teacher will show the student the activities they need to do, provide them with feedback, and explain concepts to them. This knowledge and practice will help the student to sing better. They may work on their breathing, posture, pitch, etc.
While you might think that breathing isn’t that complicated, it can make all the difference when singing. You need to work on it quite a lot if you want to get better at singing. They can learn more about this at music schools, too.
Singing is quite physical. You need to learn about how your body and singing are linked and how your breathing and posture can improve your voice. Bad habits can be hard to fix so a teacher will make sure that the child gets everything right from the start.
The lion’s share of singing will be done in the second part of the lesson.
The second part of the lesson is where the child has the opportunity to use what they’ve learnt and put it into practice. This is usually the more enjoyable part as they get to sing.
While putting the theory into practice is fun, it’s also a moment for the tutor or teacher to see where the student might be going wrong.
They’ll work on one or several songs, usually ones that make use of the techniques they’ve been practising. They need to have good posture and performance when singing the song. Fortunately, that’s exactly what kids’ singing lessons are for.
Like with music lessons, the tutor will also try to incorporate the type of music that the student likes to ensure that they enjoy themselves when they sing. It’s a delicate balance.
Depending on the preferred style of music, they may need some foreign language skills. For example, they may need Italian for opera or Korean if they’re fans of K-pop, for example.
The rehearsal will also give the tutor a better idea of the tessitura (voice type and range) of the student. Generally, they’ll have a good idea from the very first lesson what their voice is like.
At the end of the lesson, they may give them some exercises or homework to do in their free time before the next lesson. It’ll mean that they can keep learning between lessons.
As you’ll have understood, singing lessons follow a similar structure to other music lessons. Of course, this is just one example of a structured singing lesson and other teachers and tutors may vary their approach to match the student. With a private tutor, they’ll regularly adapt the lessons to the students. At the end of the day, that’s the important thing!
If your child would like to learn how to sing, you should consider getting them a private tutor from Superprof! There are three main types of tutorial available from the tutors on the platform: face-to-face tutorials, online tutorials, and group tutorials. Each comes with advantages and disadvantages so you must think carefully about which will work for your child.
Face-to-face tutorials are usually the most costly tutorials but they're also the most cost-effective. With just the student and the tutor, every minute of the session is spent focusing on them and their singing. Tutors can also tailor the lessons to the student, what they want to learn, and how they like to learn. The extra work the tutor puts into planning the sessions is often reflected in the price but the results often speak for themselves.
For those on a budget, group tutorials are a great option. Your child could attend sessions with other children and while the tutor won't be able to tailor the sessions to them, they will be able to benefit from peer learning, where they help one another to improve.
Finally, if there aren't any suitable singing tutors near you, you can always look online. As long as you have a decent webcam, microphone, and internet connection, tutors from all over the world can teach your child how to sing online. Since they don't have to travel and can schedule more sessions a week, they tend to charge less than face-to-face tutors.