Singing is one of those things children love doing. It is also something many teachers feel concerned about, when it comes to personal vocalising adventure. For some reason or other, many teachers are reluctant to engage in signing with children at classroom level. In many schools these days, music programs are vested in singing and instrumental teachers. The domain is one into which classroom teachers, even those of early childhood children, rarely engage. That may be because of self-consciousness, embarrassment or because they genuinely believe they have no musical talent.
Singing is something I enjoyed with children in many different school settings, in grades at all levels and in all kinds of schools.
I don’t profess to be authentic in musical terms, but enjoyment should be the key to singing. Holding a tune helps, but for most if that does not come naturally, it can be cultivated.
Having fun with singing helps. Singing for enjoyment ought to be considered, especially as singing is confidence building for children. I believe that to sing can also build teacher confidence. The exercise is one that promotes vocal projection, facial expression, and correct word usage. Listening skills are enhanced because singers have to listen out for each other.
Some of the songs I taught children years ago, they still remember years later and as adults. I have had that feedback. Children I know from more recent years remind me of songs taught.
Without doubt, learning the lyrics and music that goes with singing, helps when it comes to memory building. Songs stay with people for years, sometimes a lifetime, after the learning. The stimulation of memory is important because the ability to memorise is one of the characteristics with which we have been blessed.
Part of the appeal to memory is that of challenging children to learn the rudiments of the song as quickly as possible. When I was a primary school student back in the 1950’s, we used to have singing lessons to our schools broadcast over the radio. Lessons were weekly for 30 or 45 minutes. Once the song we were learning was introduced, the singing teacher would drag the learning out over several weeks. We poor children would back up phrase by phrase, line by line and verse by verse for what seemed an eternity. The enjoyment of singing became entangled within this torturous learning process. When teaching singing, be smart about methodology.
Singing can be linked with other elements of the curriculum, especially Social and Cultural Education. Attached is an example to illustrate.
‘Linking’ similarly applies when it comes to musical appreciation. Music and instrumental appreciation is helpful when it comes to studying countries, cultures and people of the world. Musical appreciation is a strategy that helps us better understand and appreciate Indigenous Australians.
Children are asked to use their imaginations to create stories, write poems, manufacture art/craft pieces and to carry out scientific experiments. This may extend to electives studies, speech preparation and other activities. There is no reason why children, even very young children, can’t be encouraged to create and teach (under guidance) their own songs.
Singing is a great activity, one I recommend.
Attachment: Brumby Jack
See the dust cloud on the plain,
Hear the sound like falling rain,
Flashing hooves and heads held high,
As the wild bush brumbies gallop by.
*Here comes Brumby Jack,
Bringing the horses down the track,
Hear his come as he wheels them around,
He keeps them together safe and sound.
There’s Stumpy, Billy. Silver Dan,
Pickles, Jim and Pelican,
He has a name for everyone,
And when he calls they come at a run.
He loves his wild bush friends so well,
Many a farming man can tell,
He’ll never eat or go to bed,
Until he’s sure they’ve all been fed.
Froim the mountain side to the distant plain,
Here, there and back again,
They roam the country wild and free,
‘Cause that’s the way they want to be.
Conversation and Discussion Points – a few
Discussion points about wild horses and why – origins.
*Location, location – where found.
* Property and farm damage.
*Use of horses and how domesticated horses could escape, breed and create brumby herds.
*’Life of a horse’.
*Persuasive argument on pro’s and cons of horse rearing, breeding, use and so on.
* Word study ; ‘wheel’, ‘roam’, ‘plain’ and so on.