Category: Teaching Teens To Sing

The teenage voice is in a unique place as it is not a child’s voice, nor is it fully developed. However, with proper guidance this transitional stage of life can be filled is fun, clear and safe singing.

ask the vocal coach

Vocal Coach for High School Homeschooler

I recently received this question from a homeschool family about using Vocal Coach as their high school music curriculum. Vocal Coach Products are in fact used in schools and many homeschoolers of all ages use our products for their musical teaching. If you are involved in teaching student music, read on to find out more about how Vocal Coach can work for you.

Your Question

We are a homeschool family needing a program that will help fulfill a high school credit in performing arts. We are highly considering your program. Does Vocal Coach Singer teach them to read music as well or is it just focused on the quality of the voice/sound?

Answer

Thanks for your questions! Vocal Coach Singer does not address reading music. What it does really well, however, is help students discover their voices. They learn about the mechanics, acoustics and finally how to use their own voices in the most efficient way. It’s very systematic and very, very clear. In short, they learn an instrument that they will always have with them, and singing well is a great foundation for any other musical education.

We also have a free blog and Facebook page where we offer lots of great content answering the most common vocal questions. Plus, we are available for questions should they arise via our Ask the Vocal Coach question form on the blog.

Something else you might consider is purchasing one or two Online Personal Training sessions during the year. This can be done for an individual or shared with several of your students. The personal Online interaction would be just one more opportunity to maximize the learning process.

Lastly, in case you haven’t visited our homeschool page, there is some great info there as well. You can find it here. http://vocalcoach.com/homeschool

How Mentoring Can Be a Key Component of Vocal Education

As the new school year began, I shared my thoughts about teaching kids to sing. I know many of you are well underway in your lessons with students of many ages, and I wanted to share one of my recent experiences with you.

I feel that we sometimes underestimate the importance of mentoring. Having a good model to follow cements the things we learn and is valuable in every aspect of our education and development. And more to the point, mentoring goes beyond just a teacher – student relationship. I use this to my advantage whenever I can pair up younger singers with older ones.

How One Hour Changed Three Young Singers

I recently spent an hour with six girls. The three 14 year olds are a nearly professional level trio. Their pitch, blend, diction, phrasing and musical skills are exceptional. The three 11 year olds were skilled in acting and dance and one is a rapper. They were not accomplished soloists and had never had to harmonize or blend, however.

I paired each younger singer with an older sing of matching range. The older girls sang a 3-part song several times with their younger charge sitting right next to them—just watching and listening. Then I had the younger singers start joining in while being strongly coached by their mentor. After 15 minutes I had the older girls start singing with less and less volume until they were just lip syncing. I not sure when the young trio realized they were on their own, but they were great!

Why did this work? Three experienced teens invested in three willing students. The younger singers also did exactly what they were instructing without challenge or discussion. The mentoring will continue and we will shortly have two excellent trios.

Watch the Video

Here is a video of part of the session I describe above. It is really remarkable to listen to the less experienced singers grow in their ability right before your ears!

Have any of you had similar experiences? I’d love to hear about it. Send me a note using the Ask the Vocal Coach form.

youth choir

It’s All About The Foundations

How Can We Help Our Young People Find Their Voice?

As the new school year begins, I have been sharing my thoughts about teaching kids to sing, so if you work with kids in any capacity, be sure to come back. You can subscribe to updates via email, or follow us on Facebook. And if you have any questions about teaching kids voice, leave a comment, or submit it via the forum on our blog. I’d love to hear from you!

Find links to the other posts in this series at the end of this post

This week I’d like to talk about…

It’s All About The Foundations

This summer I’ve had the opportunity to teach a number of classes for 2nd–6th graders… and I’m not done yet. With each student and each class experience I become more convinced that if we give our students the right tools, with the right understanding of those tools they will generally make the right choices. When it comes to singing, this means instead of yelling and pushing with their voices they will revert to using the tools of upright posture, naturally efficient breathing and good acoustics to project their voices. by working through these as well as other areas in fun, interactive ways they get very comfortable do it the right way, and very uncomfortable doing it the wrong way.

Foundations Keep Them Safe

Once my young students have started to establish good foundations I’m not afraid to let them explore and imitate some sounds and stylings of professional artists. They know not to try to be the older singers, but also to learn from those who are successful. They know what their voice sounds and physically feels like when they are within the boundaries of what’s safe… now. They also know those boundaries will expand as their voices mature, which is that’s exciting, and will keep them going.

Teaching Kids to Sing

Piano teacher teaching kids to sing

The Vocal Coach Teaching Kids to Sing Series contains the necessary principles and exercises to guide a child to better voice control. They are presented so the average child, teacher and parent can grasp and apply what’s taught. Teaching Kids To Sing has been successfully used in churches and public schools, as well as home school and family settings for many years.

For youth, we recommend moving up to the Vocal Coach adult line of training products. Start with Complete Breathing, or go ahead and purchase a set such as Vocal Coach Singer. You may also wish to take advantage of our Voice Assessment to help you get started in the right direction.

More Teaching Kids to Sing Next Week

I am in the middle of a Teaching Kids to Sing blog series here at the beginning of the the school year. So stay tuned for more and in the meantime, check out last weeks post:

teaching kids to sing choir

Learning Through Imitation

As the new school year begins, I have been sharing my thoughts about teaching kids to sing, so if you work with kids in any capacity, be sure to come back. You can subscribe to updates via email, or follow us on Facebook. And if you have any questions about teaching kids voice, leave a comment, or submit it via the forum on our blog. I’d love to hear from you!

Find links to the other posts in this series at the end of this post

This week I’d like to talk about…

Learning Through Imitation

How Do Our Children Learn Best?

That, of course, depends on the child and the subject. One thing we are sure of, however, is that many behaviors and skills are learned my imitation. That can be good, or bad, depending on what and who they are imitating. This doesn’t discount the fact that each child has many natural, inherent gifts that, given the chance, will find ways to be used. But it should remind us to be vigilant in guarding what our students are exposed to while we have the opportunity.

Imitation Can Be a Two Edged Sword

Vocal Coach Chris Beatty Teaching Kids hands up
Chris Teaches a group of kids how to stand up strait.

Since the beginning of time we have all learned to talk by imitation. That’s where we get some of our basic tone quality, as well as most of our diction, accent, vocabulary, inflection and other skills. And, that can be good news—or bad news—depending on our environment. Fortunately, even if we had a less than stellar environment we can dramatically alter and dramatically change who we are vocally. In fact, we witness this often in actors, singers and public speakers. Who they were isn’t necessarily who they are, now.

Right, From The Start

When it comes to our children the best option is for them to learn to do things the right way from the very start. But, if they are exposed to popular, commercial music there can be challenges in this process—even assuming that the messages they are hearing are good ones. The challenge is that the voice quality they hear is from older, more mature voices and it has been altered and “fixed” during the recording and post-production process. In fact, many artists would have a very hard time sounding acceptable if they were to just stand on stage and sing without the aid of all the distractions and electronics that are commonly used. Not all, but many.

Of course, I have nothing against any style of music. But as you know, our children can imitate bad examples as easily as they can good ones. So, if you are a teacher, and especially if you are a parent, be aware of the “vocal role models” your children have.

More Teaching Kids to Sing Next Week

children singing

I am in the middle of a Teaching Kids to Sing blog series here at the beginning of the the school year. So stay tuned for more and in the meantime, check out last weeks post:

Helping Homeschool Kids Find Their Voices

Helping Homeschoolers Find Their Voices

Voice Training Is About Communication

As a vocal coach, I work with a lot of kids from 2nd graders on up. Much of this is with children’s choirs, but a surprising number of our new private students are homeschoolers. Parents are recognizing that for a student of any age to learn about their voice is a very valuable pursuit. Why? Because, Voice training is about communication! And being a confident, clear communicator will help a child excel in any future vocation. In many pursuits, communication is absolutely necessary.

Helping Homeschool Kids Find Their Voices

Teaching (Homeschool) Kids to Sing (And Speak!)

We originally developed our Teaching Kids To Sing (TKS) series with the children’s choir and traditional classroom in mind. But we are excited to see that TKS has become a huge hit with homeschool families. We are proud of every report we hear from parent telling us how TKS is helping their kids learn how to properly use their voice.

Our goal is to teach children about their voices. Then, to help them experience what good posture, warm-ups, tone, diction and meaningful dynamics feel and sound like—all while having fun. Not surprisingly, parents are learning as much as the students and it has become a great family-learning experience in many homes due to the clear layout and interactive format.

We Are Here to Help You Along the Way

Homeschool Help

We have a special page on our website just for Homeschoolers! Just go to vocalcoach.com/homeschool. We have lots of information about how to use our Vocal Coach products in a homeschool environment, answers to common questions, and even an exam and answer key in PDF format for download.

Face to Face Online Training

It’s also worth noting that our Face to Face Online Training is great for group learning and can really be a good cap to a semester of vocal training. After working with our teaching tools with your student(s), you may want to solidify what they’ve learned in a personal way. I’d love to meet you for an online session via Skype or FaceTime.

Whether you have one or five students or even a larger homeschool group, and on line session can offer spontaneous, interactive teaching and inspiration. You’ll be surprised how much progress can be made in a single session when the students are already familiar with the fundamental from our training CDs.

Any Questions?

To make this experience more available for this summer or for the start of school this fall we are offer our 2DVD/1CD Teaching Kids To Sing package for a special price. Please go to your store and explore the Teaching Kids To Sing section.

And as always, if you have any questions along the way just go to my blog. There is a wealth of knowledge already there, and you can submit a question directly to me using the Ask the Vocal Coach form. I look forward to hearing from you!