How to Sing for Kids

Singing music to kids is a great way to tell a story.
Singing music to kids is a great way to tell a story. | Source

Music and kids seem to naturally go together. From parties and other special events to everyday moments, music can play a part in not only entertaining but developing children.

Through listening and making music, the human brain makes connections and learns skills. Language, memory, and spacial reasoning are just some of the areas enhanced by regular exposure to music.

I trained as a vocal performance major in college. But it wasn't until much later that I got to enjoy first-hand making music for, and with, kids. As a performer, teacher and especially as a mom, I've had positive experiences.

Whether you're musically gifted or not, you can share the fun of song with children!

What Type Of Music Time Will You Lead?

Make a plan by making some choices, and be creative so you'll generate interest:

Theme - is there an overall idea you want to build the time around? (for instance, learning a skill, or celebrating a holiday)

Characters - will you be yourself, or will you dress up in costume as someone else? (maybe a doll come to life, or a pet)

Spoken word - will you tell one big story or will you do introductions to songs? (that can keep your theme going)

For Professional Singers

If you are looking to stay busy and earn money with your talents, why not include some events geared toward kids in your schedule?

Approach your local libraries, parks & recreation departments and schools to find a venue. Those places are already connected with families and will help advertise as well.

Record a children's song and have that ready to take in or send by email so event coordinators can hear your ability. Alsoprepare a quick write-up of what you'll do during the time.

Utilize social media such as Facebook or Twitter to help you. That may also bring about jobs for private parties later on.

Tips:

Keep your technical quality high.

Don't be afraid to let your technical ability to shine through - everyone wants to hear good singing. If you're trained in opera or in musical theater or pop, use your voice just as it is, tailored to children.

Be thoughtful about your song choices.

This is how your abilities reach out specifically to kids. Choosing some familiar songs may catch their ears. But new songs can be just as fun for them. Find songs with simple words and melodies children can learn quickly. And make sure they are age appropriate.

Hearing and making music is a treat, no matter what age the child is.
Hearing and making music is a treat, no matter what age the child is. | Source

Invite kids to participate.

Lots of kids start to move their bodies as soon as they hear music start so picking some "activity" songs will get them engaged physically. Teach them new songs and encourage them to join you as you sing. That will only make their experience happier - yours too!

Expect interruptions.

The attention span of kids is shorter than other audiences you may have. Realizing that in advance can prevent frustration for you. You can plan some strategies for reigning them in if needed. But be sensitive to their limitations as you design the event.

For Parents

Just because you're not trained professionally doesn't mean you can't introduce the wonder of music to your kids. There are lots of great resources available to help you make music at home.

Sing With Our Kids

Nancy Stewart, a children's song composer and performer, hosts this website dedicated to equipping parents and teachers with material and ideas for sharing music.

It includes an impressive library of songs that can be downloaded as MP3s or printed music. There is a "Tips & Tricks From The Experts" page that gives bios and advice from knowledgeable people in the field. There are suggestions for activities such as making instruments and discovering resources in your community.

Music For Kids

Parents can find a large selection of musical instruments here like harmonicas, drums and percussion, even toy pianos. Music CDs offer prerecorded songs from artists like Tim Cain and Laurie Berkner. There is a "Shop By Age" option that lets parents narrow their search.

Anyone can sing for kids, anytime!
Anyone can sing for kids, anytime! | Source

Tips:

Focus on the kids.

There's no need to be self-conscious or awkward - this is a time for sharing. Make the aim be connecting with your children rather than performing for them. Keep your attention on what they do and how they respond and you'll have some really special interaction with them.

Have Fun.

If you relax and have a great time, so will your kids. Your energy and joy will be contagious, and will multiply. Leave time for exploration - change the words to a favorite song, or add drums - and creativity will come out in amazing ways.

Make It A Regular Thing

Whether you want to sing with your kids daily, weekly or "whenever", decide that it will be a habit in your home. Making music can be a terrific bonding and discovery time that nurtures the whole family.

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