You’ve probably noticed your preschooler can now belt out the lyrics to their favorite songs! Sometimes at the top of their lungs with such passion and gusto! You may also notice that they begin in one musical key, but shift while singing. This is common and normal for our developing vocalists. If you want to help develop their singing skills, follow these simple tips to help their songs stay on pitch.
- Remove the lyrics and sing on “loo”: It is very helpful to remove the lyrics from favorite songs so that your child can hear the actual melody. Replace the lyrics with the “loo” syllable because the “oo” vowel sound is the easiest one in which to sing on pitch. You can also use the “moo” syllable which will make for some funny cow songs!
- Make sure your child has plenty of opportunities to sing alone: Singing along with their favorite recording is probably one of your child’s favorite singing activities. While this is great to do, it is also important to encourage singing without the recorded music. In order to sing in tune, children must be able to listen to themselves and hear what they are singing. If they can’t hear themselves, they will not make any adjustments to the pitch.
- Echo singing: Echo singing with your child is a great way to help them sing in tune. The grown up sings a line and then the child echoes that line. If you are noticing your wee one is reluctant to sing, use a pretend microphone and some good ole imagination!
- Improvisation and vocal play: Encourage your child to make up their own songs and explore the range and sounds of their voice. By fully understanding what their voice can do, children are more easily able to tap into the sounds that create better pitch and they have much more vocal flexibility.
- Using the “head voice”: Children’s natural singing voice is from middle C to the A above middle C. If you are noticing your child is singing below this, they are most likely using their “chest voice”. Using the chest voice should be discouraged since it can cause vocal strain and is harder for the children to sing on pitch. By imitating a siren sound, children can find their head voice which is where their normal vocal range is found.
We hope these tips help your little one build and develop their singing skills. If you want to encourage their development even further, we’d love to have you join our music classes! Click here to explore our Little Singers Program and our Kindermusik for Little Musicians Program.
Written by Amelia Vitarelli, owner and educator of My Little Conservatory in San Jose, CA. Amelia has been enriching the lives of children in Silicon Valley for over 20 years.