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Encouraging Singing at Home and on the Playground

Great tips to get kids singing outside of class.
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Encouraging Singing at Home and on the Playground

Singing is a natural musical response that should be encouraged insettings outside of the music class. The following tips suggest waysto encourage this behavior.

  • Let individuals or classes make picture books based on favoritesongs.
  • Teach students a repertoire of singing games for pairs or groups ofstudents. Encourage them to take ownership of the games by lettingthem act as leaders in class.
  • Make game boards of songs in which something is hidden ("I'veLost the Closet Key") or a character moves ("The Bear Went over theMountain"). Make large laminated versions to use in the classroomand smaller versions for students to take home.
  • Have each child make a personal song collection – pictures foryoung students, lyrics or notation for older.
  • Teach pre-adolescents a collection of songs, singing games, andchants to use for baby-sitting. Have them document the songs theyhave actually used in that setting.
  • Encourage students to make audiotapes or music videos ofthemselves singing favorite songs.
  • Be sure that the school library and primary classrooms are liberallysupplied with picture books based on songs (there are more andmore available every year). Encourage students to sing through thebooks by using them in class. Purchase a supply of 5-minute tapesand record the songs for use in classroom reading centers. Enclose abook and its tape in a freezer-weight zip-top bag for students tocheck out for home use.
  • Invite parents to class so that they can learn some of the songs thestudents know. Encourage singing these together at home and letthe student coach the parent.
  • Ask students to teach their parents a song and then fill out aquestionnaire, make a tape, or write a short report on the process.
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