Grades K-4: Starting in Kindergarten, we experiment with the different voices we have: calling voice, whispering voice, talking voice, and singing voice. Knowing the difference between these voices is the first step toward healthy vocal production. The following is a good car game you can play to reinforce this concept and show your child that it is ok to experiment with the sounds that his/her voice can make.
GAME #1: SIMON SINGS: Choose one of the four voices to be the voice that should not be echoed, for example: the whispering voice. Play a version of “I spy” where everyone in the car has to echo (repeat) the object in the same voice as the leader. If the leader says an object in a whispering voice, then no one can echo. If someone echoes, then the leader gets one point. If no one echoes, the rest of the passengers in the car get one point. The game ends when either side receives three (3) points.
Vocal exploration is a great way to get your child comfortable singing in his/her head voice. We play games with our friend melody the slide puppet and Big Pig in the lower grades and with a koosh ball in the upper grades. One of my favorites is bubble relay. This is something fun to play in the summertime!
GAME #2: BUBBLE NOTES:Two or more kids begin at the starting line with a bottle of bubbles. The goal is to blow a bubble and follow it with your voice. If it travels high, your voice goes high; if it travels low, your voice goes low. If your bubble pops, then you have to stop and blow another bubble to follow with your voice. The first person to cross the finish line (and who has sung the whole way) wins!
GAME #3: PICTURE SOUNDS:A great game to play with young kids. Point to a picture of a fire truck and have your child replicate the sound that it makes. How does a truck sound when it is backing up? What about a rooster? A pig? Ask your child: Is the sound high or low?
MOST IMPORTANT: HELP YOUR CHILD TO EXPERIENCE THAT IT IS ACCEPTABLE TO EXPERIMENT WITH SOUND. THE MORE COMFORTABLE THEY ARE WITH MAKING SOUNDS, THE MORE THEY WILL PRACTICE MAKING SOUNDS AND THE SOONER THEY WILL BEGIN TO SING WITH A BEAUTIFUL TONE!