Some children love to be little performers so it seems only natural to sign them up for kids singing lessons.
Enjoyment from basic singing lessons a love of musical theater, the desire to become a rock star and simply just raising confidence levels are some of the many reasons why music and voice lessons for children are a great idea.
Of course, the decision for voice lessons comes with many questions. At what age should children start? How will we find the right teachers? How can I support my child’s musical development and does my child need to know music theory?
Relax, we have all the information you ever need to know about sorting out your child’s singing lessons.
Let’s start with pointing out the benefits that come with signing your child up to learn how to sing correctly. An excellent vocal coach is the first step.
• Nurture Their Talent
Teaching children to sing at a young age will instill better vocal health habits to begin. It will develop a love for music, and nurture their talent in a much more relaxed fashion than beginning adults. Children haven’t had the negative input of bad habits and low self-esteem that adults have had. So, with the right vocal coach, young talent can be given the opportunity to blossom.
• Build Self-Esteem
Children who learn to sing are also more apt to build higher levels of self-esteem. A child’s sense of sense of self-worth can be validated by the individual personal attention and belief in the child’s success that comes from having a vocal coach. Additionally, sending children to singing lessons can help them more efficiently develop how to project their voice, practice breathing exercises and improve their posture; all of which add up to higher levels of confidence that can spill over into other aspects of their life.
• Develop Better Brain Function
Children’s singing lessons aren’t just about learning to sing, they help with many different facets in a child’s development. Studies have shown that music training and practice help children expand brain development, increase coordination, and improve complex motor skills. Along, with these developmental skills, little music students can also develop new forms of expression and communication.
• Connect with Others
Music is a universal language. By taking advantage of kids’ singing lessons, you encourage your child to connect with others. This connection can transcend all cultural beliefs and differences. Not only are you helping your child open up their world, but you are also helping them to connect to others through creativity and artistic expression, both of which will have positive effects on their health and well-being.
The Difference in a Child’s Voice
Children are smaller than adults. This may be pointing out the obvious; however, any good music teacher will tell you that being smaller carries over into the way children sing. Kids have smaller lungs which means they take smaller breaths. This, in turn, means they cannot produce the same volume as an adult voice. In short, their singing skill sets will be different.
When children sing, their vocal ranges are smaller, or more limited; and their voices may tire easier. Implementing good vocal health in children is paramount. The last thing you want is for your child to injure their vocals or ruin the way they sing at an early age.
A vocal coach specializing in children will understand thoroughly that a child’s voice cannot be trained in the same way that an adult’s voice can. The younger voice will undergo changes as it ages and develops new hormones, topics which are reflected later in this article. These changes need to be factored into their lessons and evolving vocal techniques.
The answer depends on the child, the vocal coach and the program. There is an ongoing debate in the music industry that children shouldn’t have professional singing lessons before the age of ten. However, this is not necessarily true. Many very young children love to sing and could benefit from simple music lessons to encourage that joy of singing.
Singing lessons require a certain amount of direct focus. Focusing doesn’t have to be as involved as expecting your child to be perfect at ear training or sight reading. It just means that they need to be old enough to concentrate for about half an hour to learn some new ideas from the practice.
The ability to focus is different in each child. You might want to schedule a sample lesson with a vocal coach to see how your child reacts and if they will benefit from singing lessons.
It’s not always easy to find a vocal coach who specializes in children’s music classes. You can research available coaches in your area online or check with your local school district’s music teachers for suggestions of suitable voice teachers.
Singing lessons for children shouldn’t just be about belting out a tune for musical theater. Voice lessons that combine skills that develop a healthy voice, an introduction to music theory and sight reading, performance and the ability to sing with instrumentation can all be learned at a young age.
• The Right Qualifications
The first step you should consider when finding a vocal coach for your child is to find someone who is highly trained in music and has had previous experience teaching children’s singing lessons. Research prospective teachers online or call and talk to them directly.
Feel free to ask them what their music background is. They should have no problem sharing that information with you. If they do, you may want to reconsider. You can also ask for names of current or past students that you can contact as references.
• The Right Approach
Along with a strong background in music and experience in teaching young music students, you will also want someone who is good with children and has a positive approach when teaching lessons. Children can be delicate, and a teacher who is harsh may negatively impact their singing skills for a very long time.
• The Right Environment
Children often respond better in a relaxed and fun environment. However, pushing your child at a young age to join a musical theater group may not be the best thing for their voice. Helping to grow a child’s singing voice takes a gentle approach.
An experienced children’s voice teacher will be able to introduce your child to songs and musical material in an enjoyable way. All music fundamentals, including solfege, voice exercises, notation and, most importantly, vocal health can be taught through entertaining songs and games.
Children don’t have the same awareness as adults do regarding vocal sound. Little ones may not understand that they can be damaging their voice when they scream and shout with their friends, talk excessively without taking a break, and sing songs in a way they find entertaining but vocally harmful.
Following are some suggestions for supporting good vocal health in your children:
• Drink Sufficient Water
You can help your child to maintain good vocal health by encouraging them to drink at least 6-8 glasses of water a day, depending on their age. Urge them to take small sips as they go.
• Maintain a Quiet Environment
You can also try to reduce their need to shout by minimizing or lowering environmental noise. Encourage your child to come over to you if they wish to say something instead of yelling across the room.
Learning the difference between an “outside voice” and an “inside voice” is important in developing control their sound levels. Alternating hectic activity with periods of down or quiet time can also be beneficial.
• Be a Good Role Model
An important way to teach your child to use their voice correctly is to be a good vocal role model. Speak in a soft to normal tone, and your children will be inclined to imitate you. The less you shout or talk loudly, the less likely they will be to follow suit.
There are many ways you can assist your child and their vocal coach when it comes to their private music lessons.
Here are a few of our suggestions:
• Encourage Exercises
First, encourage your child to practice their vocal warm-ups and voice exercises every day. This daily practice is essential for your child’s continual singing development. It also will contribute to good vocal health by keeping their vocal chords strong and flexible.
Even if your child only practices five minutes a day of yawning to stretch their muscles or breathing deeply to strengthen their diaphragm, it all helps. Speak to your child’s vocal coach or voice teacher about the exercises to learn how you can better help your child.
Another essential aspect of helping your child progress vocally is to ensure that they are attending their voice lessons regularly. Skipping lessons and frequently changing their scheduled lesson time could slow down their progress. Encouraging them every step of the way, will provide the support they need and will give them the greatest chance for success.
• Stay Positive
Another way to help your child is to be reassuring and positive. Leave it up to their vocal coach to provide suggestions for their musical growth. It would be better for you to focus on telling your child how great they are doing and how proud of them you are. Both things will nurture your child’s confidence and self-worth.
• Provide a Healthy Environment
It’s important to foster a healthy home environment for your young vocalist. Anything helps; like encouraging visitors to smoke outside to eliminate secondhand smoke. Ensure that your child drinks sufficient water for adequate hydration and maintains a healthy diet. These small pointers can make the world of difference when it comes to their singing voice.
Childrens singing lessons aren’t just about nurturing your child to become a star. They are more about the journey your child takes in getting there. Along the way, your child can learn all kinds of valuable lessons and open them up to a whole new world.