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- May 10, 2016 at 10:18 pm #515361Jared MielkeParticipant
I work weekly with some 1-6 graders in a group music session. What keys or range should be used with songs for children of this age span? I realize that this age span is a big range of physical and musical development. I thought middle C to higher C was good for children, but I recently heard someone in a lecture say to not use the key of C but to instead use D to D or Eb to Eb.May 11, 2016 at 8:52 am #515384Joy HirokawaParticipant
D – D or Eb – Eb is a better range. Ken Phillips in his book “Teaching Kids to Sing” has a very clear chart with the developmental ranges for each grade level indicated early. It’s an excellent resource. However, if the students are not comfortable with their upper register, and only sing in chest voice, they will struggle with the upper end of the octave. So it’s important to give them good vocal technique from the very beginning. Check my article in the November 2015 Choral Journal for some ideas: http://acda.org/files/choral_journals/HirokawaNov15.pdfMay 11, 2016 at 12:00 pm #515393David FawcettParticipant
Little kids (like 6 year olds) can sing in a range roughly from C to C. By Fourth Grade all kids (boys and girls) can sing up to top line F although it’s useful to vocalize much higher than that in group exercises. As is noted above it’s important to get them singing in head voice from the very beginning otherwise they’ll emulate female pop singers who sound like they’re singing high but actually never get much above the middle of the treble clef. I referred to “talking voice” and “singing voice”, making it clear that you’d never be able to sing properly if you only sang in your talking voice. A tenor, I modelled the higher notes on an “oo” vowel and could sing as high as any child so I never got any of the “it’s too high” blow-back. Women with an appropriate sound can model much more effectively than I ever could. You’ll notice that most conductors of so called “childrens’ choirs” ( the best ones usually made up of post pubescent girls) are almost invariably led by woman who, themselves, sing pretty well but sound like a teenage girls rather than a trained singer. I probably got a little off track hear. Hobby horse.May 12, 2016 at 10:55 am #515476Jared MielkeParticipant
Thank you to both of you for your excellent advice and tips. I appreciate it, and I look forward to using this information with my children singers.September 5, 2016 at 10:43 am #521312Laura CollinsParticipant
Pre-K and Kindergarten, E-flat to C(above middle C, of course)….they only should sing within a 6-note range. Use Kodaly and Orff melodies and some songs that may go outside these just a bit. 1st-2nd graders are expanding this range., so you can adjust down for most children to D or C and go to D above middle C or so. 3rd -4th are stretching it and I have noticed that in my area kids who listen to Country music have already developed lower tones (below) middle C, B-A, but it is pure chest voice(!) naturally. I don’t use low A much with them. If so, it is light head voice. The older (4-6) can vocalize up to about F comfortably and some more developed and light sopranos will want to hang on a high F or even G sometimes at the end of a song, If you teach them proper support and making space in the mouth, they will do fine and not hurt themselves. You have lots of range within the ages. It needs to be developmental as you go and don’t worry what non-musicians think about limiting the range of the young singers. Many regular classroom teachers just don’t get it. They use CDs and pay no attention to the keys of ranges of the songs they let the kids sing with — often it is a male voice and the kids are try to sing along under middle C down into the bass clef (without octave adjusting)!! It really disturbs me. Even when you’ve mentioned this over and again to them that it is not appropriate. You are the music teacher, so use what you know and let the children experience their true child voices with out abusing them. Math teachers don’t begin with long division in 1st grade, now do they?? 🙂
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