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The Human Voice: Lesson for Kids

The Human Voice: Lesson for Kids

Introduction

Singing is an invaluable skill and something most children love to learn about. Teaching children to sing while they are young can foster a lifelong interest and love of music. Singing lessons not only help your child “carry a tune” or help them prepare for an audition, but it also builds confidence and discipline which can help them in everyday life.
Singing is absolutely a technical skill so it is best to provide professional help in developing your child’s voice. Paired with a little bit of guidance, the warmups and techniques below are great reminders:

The basics: Posture, and relaxed and open breathing.
The first thing you have to do before starting any singing practice is to get your instrument, your body, in the proper position. Posture is important. Think of it like a flute – how good would it sound if it was bent? How good would a violin sound if the string was not at the proper tension. The body is the same way. A teacher will help with getting the proper posture, and help your child to relax. Breathing properly is the next step – proper body awareness, expanded rib cage, open throat, and more are all needed. There should no incorrect tension in the vocal mechanism.

Practice breathing
It is in the overall interest of children to practice proper breathing when singing. The teacher will demonstrate ome breathing exercise for them to understand how to regulate breath whenever they sing.

• Get them to breathe in through their nose and mouth (opening nasal cavity) that elicits
the “cold air in” concept. Then breath out “warm air”, all the while keeping the throat open
and out of the way for proper resonance.
• Encourage your child to begin directing air into their belly instead of their chest.
Encourage them to place their hands on their bellies and ask them to direct air to their
stomach, so it moves. The shoulders should never rise and fall. It is best to practice this lying
down, but you can do it sitting too!
• Get the children to count when they breathe. Let them inhale for the count of 4 and
exhale (perhaps on an “s”) for the count of 4 to 24.

Warm up using a range that is comfortable
Range extension is a natural occurrence from proper technique and practice. The trick is not to push it too soon. Warm up on something like “la” or “loo” with exercises given to you by the teacher is the best way to improve.

Demonstrate tone and pitch through singing
Exposure to singing and music helps a child’s ear and ability to match pitch. If you have a nice singing voice (and ven if you don’t) feel free to sing around your child! Not only have they always felt comforted by your voice, but you can also sing to demonstrate confidence. First, sing songs that you know they love. You can sing your child lullabies each night and sing throughout the day as well.

But, even if you are not a good singer, you can always play to the child songs done by those singers that you enjoy as well. You can ask the voice teacher for suggestions of people with amazing technique to support the proper vocal ideal when you are at home. We recommend popular singers like Julie Andrews, Ella Fitzgerald, Barbara Streisand, and Frank Sinatra. We also strongly recommend listening to classical singers like Luciano Pavarotti and
Fritz Wunderlich, Kiri Te Kanawa, and Bryn Terfel and Cecilia Bartoli.

Teach children about their Larynx
When you breathe in deeply, you just filled your lungs with air, and as you breathe out, the stored air travels back up across your windpipe (the trachea), which is your throat air passageway. The larynx is a box-shaped area located at the top of your windpipe. It is popularly called the voice box because it secures the part of the body that allows us to speak. In other words, the larynx is the foundation or source of your voice. Your larynx is that small bump that is on your throat’s front and is below your chin. The trick is to not focus on it too much, but also don’t ignore it so it gets too high and causes tension!

Your vocal cords
Inside of the larynx are two very thin, stretched out bands of muscles known as the vocal cords. Whenever you breathe in, these cords open to allow air passage through the larynx, going into the trachea and progressing down to the lungs. The vocal cords close when you breathe out and want to talk. The air from the lungs that are trying to pass over the closed vocal cords starts to vibrate, which create sound.

Just hum a bit of your best melody and touch your larynx. Are you feeling the vibration? Your vocal cords are like having a built-in instrument because just as you use your fingers to move the strings of your guitar to produce sound, so also you make your vocal cords to move to generate words.

Final thought
Cadenza Music Academy is fully committed to teaching and providing the best techniques in singing and piano for kids of all ages. We make it possible to bring the best experience in musical and singing opportunities into the lives of children. This will help you set them up for a lifetime of excellent brain functionality and incredible abilities that will last for the rest of their lives.

Sign up your child for music lessons at Cadenza Music Academy today!

 

5 Ways to Build Up Confidence before a Performance

5 Ways to Build Up Confidence before a Performance

How confident are you right before your performances? Do you go into a performance feeling you are going to do your best or are you filled with anxiety and doubt for weeks or days before the big day? Do your palms sweat, is your stomach in knots, is your heart racing in anticipation of the performance? Some think that confidence is a personality trait but did you know you can control your level of self-confidence? Whether it is piano performance, interviewing for a job, or speaking in front of 5000 people, there are specific things to do that can help lower your anxiety.

Great performance skills 5 ways to build up confidence before a performance1. Steady Practice on Your Own

Great performance skills come through constant practice. Remember practice makes permanent, not perfect – so see our other blog on best practice techniques. To perform well in anything constant practice and hard work is an essential confidence booster. Try to rehearse the introduction several times, know exactly how you are going to start, and this will build your confidence to get past the beginning – the toughest part for most of us!

Smile 5 ways to build up confidence before a performance2. Smile
Before any performance, it is good to maintain a positive and pleasant expression on your face. Smiling helps to build confidence. Smiling relaxes the body, that is, it increases the level of endorphins that reduce stress and anxiety, It calms the nerves and creates a sense of well being and promotes a pleasant attitude not just from you but from the people around you.

A smile relays self-assurance and confidence, which tells the audience that you are enthusiastic and happy about your message. Act confident; they will not see how nervous you are or whether your legs are shaking or your heart is racing. So, smile, look confident even if you are not.

Exercise 5 ways to build up confidence before a performance3. Do Light Exercise
It is always good to exercise the body before a performance – it can get rid of some of the adrenaline. A brisk walk, some knee bends, jumping jacks all help to remove anxiety and reduce tension. Sitting is passive and motionless, tension can build. Standing five minutes before the performance allows your body to warm up and gets your body ready for action!

4. Responses to Stress
Believe it or not, stress is not the main issue when preparing for a performance. Stress will be there, it is how we react to the stress that will suggest whether we will fail under the pressure or excel. You should be able to adjust to performance settings, trust your training, your teacher and your rehearsals. It is also important to have experience with different performance environments, which will help you to feel at home when you want to perform.

Sometimes you get to practice on the actual instrument you are giving your performance on, sometimes you don’t. Some techniques like mental imagining help to build confidence. Recent studies have shown that imagining the performance your head results in some of the same chemical and psychological effects on you as actually doing it!

Concentrate 5 ways to build up confidence before a performance5. Concentrate on You!
Those that tend to be anxious have more fear about what others will think of them than the actual performance. If you are concerned with the faces of those who are bored or not enjoying the performance it can lead to a very disruptive performance – for everyone. Stage fright is an outcome of not being secure due to either a lack of preparation or lack of comfort with the audience. Practice is the first step. Second, is to know that most everyone in the audience is rooting for you to succeed and not fail! Think of those that are in attendance that supports you, that are proud of you. Your teacher, your parents, your friends. Think about the party after! Talk to yourself positively before and during a performance. The audience wants you to succeed, they want to be entertained. If you make a mistake, it’s ok. Do not worry about it, it’s in the past as you cannot do anything about it anyway, just continue. This will boost your confidence and you will make it hearing the applause!

Final thought
Nothing builds confidence like a successful musical performance. Cadenza Music Academy is the place to have those experiences. Get started today!