If you are not confident as a singer or are convinced that you can’t sing, then the thought of teaching children to sing can make one feel very vulnerable.
Use Fun With Folk to help the children learn to sing and do yourself a favour and learn along with them.
You've probably heard it before, but everyone can sing. Some people need more time than others to learn.
Some children may not have a very positive environment at home, so they need more encouragement and opportunity at school.
Here are some tips for teaching.
1) Play the audio track several times during the day so they become familiar with the tune.
2) Read the words out loud, together - this will help sort out any pronounciation problems.
3) Warm up the voice first before singing - play games with high notes, low notes, quiet notes and very LOUD notes.
4) Sing along with the audio track - do it at least twice to begin with.
5) Sing the song two or three times a day - Eventually, everyone will be singing it in tune.
6) Print out the words and encourage the children to learn the song by heart - possibly a verse at a time.
7) Give the web address www.funwithfolk.com to the children to access at home.
8) Ask children if they want to sing a verse solo, or in a small group. They might be reluctant at first, but soon they all will want to do it.
If you hear a child singing out of tune, don't focus on them, make it a class activity. Encourage everyone to listen to the tune and copy it. Gradually they will get it. Singing is about exercising a different set of muscles - the more practise they get, the fitter the child (or teacher) for singing.
There are organisations that can help all teachers learn to sing and teach singing, not just music specialists.
EFDSS - Folk singing and singing games
Sing Up - Government singing project (including workshops for teachers)
Voices Foundation - Training