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:

One comment

  1. April Cook says:

    I like how you say that imitation can be a two edged sword. If a teacher is using this method they need to make sure they are always doing their best so that students don’t pick up bad habits. What is a good way to tech kids to recognize what is worth imitating? Thanks for this great information!

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