Encouraging Singing at Home and on the Playground

Singing is a natural musical response that should be encouraged in settings outside of the music class. The following tips suggest ways to encourage this behavior.

  • Let individuals or classes make picture books based on favorite songs.

  • Teach students a repertoire of singing games for pairs or groups of students. Encourage them to take ownership of the games by letting them act as leaders in class.

  • Make game boards of songs in which something is hidden ("I've Lost the Closet Key") or a character moves ("The Bear Went over the Mountain"). Make large laminated versions to use in the classroom and smaller versions for students to take home.

  • Have each child make a personal song collection – pictures for young students, lyrics or notation for older.

  • Teach pre-adolescents a collection of songs, singing games, and chants to use for baby-sitting. Have them document the songs they have actually used in that setting.

  • Encourage students to make audiotapes or music videos of themselves singing favorite songs.

  • Be sure that the school library and primary classrooms are liberally supplied with picture books based on songs (there are more and more available every year). Encourage students to sing through the books by using them in class. Purchase a supply of 5-minute tapes and record the songs for use in classroom reading centers. Enclose a book and its tape in a freezer-weight zip-top bag for students to check out for home use.

  • Invite parents to class so that they can learn some of the songs the students know. Encourage singing these together at home and let the student coach the parent.

  • Ask students to teach their parents a song and then fill out a questionnaire, make a tape, or write a short report on the process.

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