Singing Lesson for Grades 9-12, Part 1

Grade Levels: 9 - 12

Improve students' vocal techniques while they sing a four-part round with one student on a part. Meets National Music Standard 1.


  • Students will sing a four-part round successfully with one student on a part, critiquing their vocal technique and musical accuracy.


  • Successful Warm-ups, Book I, by Nancy Telfer (San Diego: Neil A. Kjos Music Company, 1995)
  • "Let Us Sing Together," in Adventures in Singing by Clifton Ware (New York: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, 1995)

Prior Knowledge and Experiences

  • Students have studied music theory.
  • Students can sing melodic lines independent of other voices.


  1. Have students do several minutes of physical warm-ups, including stretching the upper part of the body. Explain that they are preparing for the muscular activity of singing. Then ask students to do the series of vocal warm-ups on page 25 of Successful Warm-ups.
  2. Help students sing "Let Us Sing Together" one phrase at a time. Make sure they are secure in singing each phrase before learning the next one. (Note: If the pitches are uncomfortable for the students to sing, use another key.) When students have learned all the phrases, have them sing the entire song.
  3. Discuss with students any problems they had in singing the song and help them identify how they can correct them. Have students sing the song again.
  4. Ask students to describe ways to improve their singing by applying what they did in warm-ups (for example, focusing on correct posture and breath control). Have students sing the song again, using those ideas to improve their singing.
  5. Have students sing the song first as a two-part round, then as a three-part round, and finally as a four-part round. Use the keyboard for assistance if necessary.
  6. Ask small groups of students to sing the round in four parts with two voices to a part. Have other students evaluate their vocal technique (including posture, breath control, tone production, intonation, and phrasing) and technical accuracy (including correct pitch, rhythm, tempo, and dynamics). Discuss the evaluations of the small groups.
  7. Have quartets of students sing the round in four parts.

Indicators of Success

  • Students sing the four-part round successfully with one voice per part.
  • Students critique their vocal technique and musical accuracy and improve their performances based on the critiques.

Extension Activities

  • Have students work on a four-part choral piece in small groups, gradually building their skill until they can sing the piece with one voice on a part.

Standards Correlations

  • Standard 1f

    Singing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music: Students sing in small ensembles with one student on apart.

Excerpted from Strategies for Teaching High School General Music.

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