Children's Choir

38 Ways to Sing it Again: Silly Ideas for Your Children's Choir

38 Ways to Sing it Again: Silly Ideas for Your Children's Choir

“Good! Now, sing it again.”

How many times do you hear yourself saying these words in rehearsal? We all know the importance of repetition. This is how we learn - by trying, experiencing, and doing it again and again.

The problem is, often, this becomes something we do mindlessly. When we hear someone say, “Good! Now, sing it again,”we go into auto-pilot mode and repeat whatever we just did without really thinking about it.

Did you catch that last part?

How to Teach a Preschool Choir

How to Teach a Preschool Choir

What does it take to direct a preschool choir? How is working with preschoolers different from working with elementary-age children? What do you need to know?

If you’re new to working with preschoolers or it’s been a while since you’ve been around this particular age group, here’s a quick guide to what it looks like to teach and direct a preschool choir. 

I’m tailoring this to preschool choirs in church settings, but much of what I will describe here is applicable to choirs in school and community settings, as well.

Books You Can Sing and Chant with Your Children's Choir

Books You Can Sing and Chant with Your Children's Choir

I received an email from a preschool choir director recently asking if I had any recommendations for books that could be sung that she could use in her rehearsals.

You know the ones: books that either have lyrics to a familiar children’s song or hymn, or stories with text that can be sung to a familiar tune, like “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

There are lots and lots of children’s books out there, and a few helpful lists of books that can be sung or chanted (see here, here, here, and here, for instance). But books that can be used in a church setting? With a children’s choir? Those are a little harder to find.

2018 Reading Session Picks: Children's Choir

2018 Reading Session Picks: Children's Choir

This summer, I’ve been sharing my reading session picks for choirs - twelve anthems for Adult Choir, and eleven anthems for Youth Choir, so far.

The final post in the series this year is anthems you can use with your children's choir. Most of these are brand new this year and feature opportunities to develop part-singing within your choir and include other instruments: organ, flute, and handbells or handchimes. This is a great way to develop musical independence in your singers, help develop their listening skills, and create a memorable and meaningful worship experience for them.

Your Go-To Guide for Using Boomwhackers With Your Choir

Your Go-To Guide for Using Boomwhackers With Your Choir

Looking for a fun way to reinforce rhythm and steady beat, play melodies, and introduce harmony to your children’s choir?

Let me introduce you to Boomwhackers.

Boomwhackers are great for older elementary choirs, though they can be used in certain circumstances with younger elementary choirs.

Here are a few ways you can use them in your rehearsals:

The Value of Teaching Vowels to Your Children's Choir

The Value of Teaching Vowels to Your Children's Choir

For most choir directors, singing with pure, rounded vowels is one of the primary things you teach to your choirs. It's especially important to teach this to children's choirs and instill good vowel-singing in your singers from a young age.

There are numerous benefits to focusing on this with your children's choirs throughout the year; here are a few worth noting:

36 Ways to Use Rhythm Pattern Cards in Your Teaching

36 Ways to Use Rhythm Pattern Cards in Your Teaching

Rhythm pattern cards are a great way to teach new rhythmic concepts, reinforce familiar patterns, and build that all-important music vocabulary (the ability to understand and create your own musical patterns and sequences).

There are lots of different types of rhythm pattern cards out there - some you can buy, some you can download and print for free (like the set I'm sharing below!), and ideas for making some of your own.

They don’t have to be fancy! The ones I'm sharing today can be printed at home on white cardstock and cut into quarters (postcard-size).

Top 25 Favorite Anthems for Intergenerational Choirs

Top 25 Favorite Anthems for Intergenerational Choirs

There’s something special about an intergenerational choir: the coming together of people of all ages and walks of life to share music and lift their voices in song. It sends a message of unity and inclusivity and I think it gives us a little glimpse of what heaven might be like, singing in the angel choir.

Intergenerational choirs are a great way to celebrate something special in the life of the church - an anniversary or special service. The easiest way to create this experience is to combine groups you already have. There are a number of ways to do this.

6 Strategies for Helping a Child Discover Their Singing Voice

6 Strategies for Helping a Child Discover Their Singing Voice

Everyone is born with some level of music aptitude, or potential to succeed in music (source).

According to music researcher Edwin Gordon, this aptitude can increase or decrease between birth and age 7, based on musical exposure and experience.

"The vocal range is remarkably wide from birth,” music education professor Lili Levinowitz wrote. "Infants can imitate and experiment with their vocal instruments: and even match pitch as early as three to four months of age. Purposeful singing can begin at around twelve months. At this time, adults can recognize snippets of songs to which youngsters have been exposed. Through continued exposure to spoken chant, songs, and vocal play, young children can develop the use of their singing voices during the remaining early childhood years.” (source)

How to Continue Developing Your Teaching Skills This Year

How to Continue Developing Your Teaching Skills This Year

As teachers, we’re never really done learning (and that’s a good thing!). 

John Dewey once said, “If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.”

So true, right? The world is constantly changing and evolving and we need to be constantly changing, adapting, learning, and evolving along with it to be the best teachers we can be.

What do you want to learn this year? What kind of teacher do you want to become? 

I shared my answers to these questions on Facebook Live a few weeks ago. Watch the replay here, in case you missed it!