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Singing is Fundamental. Class Meeting 3. Today and Thursday. Why do we sing? Development of singing Characteristics of voice Techniques for teaching singing in GM Introduction to Kodaly (video) Kodaly continued. Do you like to sing?. Why? When? Do you like your voice?

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Singing is Fundamental

Class Meeting 3


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Today and Thursday

  • Why do we sing?

  • Development of singing

  • Characteristics of voice

  • Techniques for teaching singing in GM

  • Introduction to Kodaly (video)

  • Kodaly continued


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Do you like to sing?

  • Why?

  • When?

  • Do you like your voice?

  • Who influenced your attitude about singing?


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Why do we sing?

  • Because we can (John Bell)

  • Delightful to nature and healthful (William Byrd)

  • Therapeutic (Music and the Brain)

  • Makes you live longer (http://www.musica.uci.edu/mrn/V4I1S97.html#S97BN)

  • Helps you learn

  • Cultural identity

  • Singing is playful


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Norman Weinberger

  • ... singing is present early in life, exhibits regular developmental stages and serves bio-social roles. Thus, singing may be a biological imperative with both individual and group functions. Quite apart from issues of its biological bases, singing appears capable of promoting several cognitive processes and even motor coordination. See http://www.musica.uci.edu/mrn/V3I2F96.html


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Overview: Musical Development

Studies of musical development confirm that children typically develop musical skills and concepts in a predictable sequence.

  • Young children acquire musical understandings and communication skills as they “progress developmentally from enactive, hands-on experiences, to meaningful pictorial representation, and finally to the use of abstract, mutually agreed upon symbolic representations of sound ideas” (Andress, 1998, p. 19). Andress, B. (1998).


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Overview

  • Preschoolers are able to reproduce phrases of songs heard, conceive the overall plan of a melody, and possibly develop perfect pitch when exposed to instrumental music instruction (Shuter-Dyson and Gabriel, 1981)

  • By ages 4- to-5, the child is able to discriminate high and low registers of pitch, fast and slow tempos, and can tap back simple rhythms.

  • With some developmental overlap, by ages 5- to-6 the child is able to understand and identify louder and softer sounds, as well as same and different melodic or rhythmic patterns.


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Overview

  • The sequential development of aural perception is also prevalent in movement and rhythmic skills—movement and rhythmic activity becomes more complex and purposeful as the preschooler ages.

  • Children in the 4- to-6 age range also increase their awareness of their own performances and are able to coordinate physical and vocal skills with the performances.

  • Finally, research suggests that participation in musical activities has a positive effect on the child’s social, emotional, spatial, and literacy abilities.


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Vocal Ability & Development of Singing

  • Musical babble begins at about 6-months of age.

  • From the onset of language, toddlers are spontaneous singers.

  • By ages 3- to-4, the child becomes more rhythmically and melodically accurate. However, singing in tune from phrase to phrase is inconsistent, often modulating to new tonal centers between phrases (Scott-Kassner, 1993).


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Development

  • Accuracy continues to increase and modulation to new keys decreases by age 5 or 6. These changes are due, in part, to the growth in vocal tissue, and an increase in vocal fold length. The child gains control of their voice to use it expressively and in tune (Jordan-Decarbo & Nelson).

  • During this developmental period, the most comfortable vocal ranges for preschool children are the pitches middle C or D up five notes to G or A.



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Development

  • Some children will sing in a lower, chest voice, or within the two or three notes of their speaking range, but the range can and should be expanded upward through imitative vocal play (Flowers & Dunne-Sousa, 1990).

  • Further, as suggested by Phillips (1992), the child can be led through a process to discover and learn to use the upper voice.


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Teaching Kids to Sing

  • Phillips recommends that the teacher first have the child speak a simple, two-line chant or rhyme in their speaking voice.

  • Next, move to rhymes with a place where the child can leap up to the higher voice for part of the phrase (e.g., “Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack jump over [leap up] the candlestick.

  • Follow this step with rhymes in which a whole phrase is spoken in a high register, (e.g., “Who’s been eating my porridge,” said the Baby Bear),

  • then expand to rhymes with two or three places for high voice. Finally, transition to very short songs, all in the upper voice.

  • Phillips emphasizes the importance of singing softly, keeping in the range of middle C to G.


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5 Categories: Rutkowski (1990)

  • Pre-singers

  • Speaking range singers

  • Uncertain singers

  • Initial-range singers

  • Singers


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Pre-singers

  • Children who do not sustain tones; their singing response resembles chanting in the speaking voice range.


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Speaking-range singers

  • Children who sustain tones and exhibit some sensitivity to pitch but remain within the speaking voice range.


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Uncertain singers

  • Children who sustain tones, but often waver between a speaking-voice range and a singing-voice range. (up to f1)


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Initial-range singers

  • Children who have use of the singing-voice range up to the register lift, usually to “a1”.


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Singers

  • Children who are able to sing over the register lift (Bb1) and above, and have full use of their singing voices.


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Adolescent Singers

  • 12-years old, or about 7th grade.

  • Variances in pphysical size, personaltiy, mental ability, and emotional stability.

  • Very important to keep boys singing through their early adolescent years.

  • Singing should be a component of music classes in 7th and 8th grade.


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How?

  • Use a physiological approach, not the song approach.

    • Requires physical coordination, like athletics.

    • Choose good texts.

    • Male chorus (attracts girls, too)

    • Mixed chorus.


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Male Voice Change

  • Due to hormonal changes.

  • Begins as early as 4th grade, but usually around age 12. Peaks about 8th grade, but can be as late as 9th grade.

  • Physiological changes/growth spurts, and thickening and growth of larynx and vocal fold length.

  • Change in the speaking voice--crackles sometimes.

  • Brilliance and power.


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Female Voice Change

  • Not as much research in this area.

  • Rapid growth is earlier; 10-to-11 years.

  • Growth in vocal fold length and larynx, but not as drastic as boys.

  • Girls may become husky-sounding, and unsteady in their singing.

  • Breathiness--mutational chink.

  • Teach “soft and pure,” not “loud and full.”

  • Emphasize good technique and use of head voice. Don’t label “alto.”


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Techniques for Teaching Children to Sing

  • Modeling by parents, teachers, and recordings.

  • Be sure to use recordings of children and children’s choirs.

  • Use interesting texts--appropriate for the age group.

  • Children learn by imitation.


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Basics of Posture

  • Instrument held “upright.”

  • Shoulders erect.

  • Head up.

  • Spine straight.

    • Can you think of a game to teach this?


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Breathing to Support Tone

  • Inability to sing in-tune, and in the head voice has to do with breath control.

    • Can you think of games to teach proper breathing?


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Head Voice

  • Games?


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Matching Tones

  • Minor 3rd chants.

  • Call and answer on minor 3rds.

  • Simple solo parts.

  • Echo songs.


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Introduction to Kodaly

  • Video with Katinka Daniel at St. James Episcopal School, Los Angeles.

  • Take note of sequencing.


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