CHILDREN'S SINGING LESSONS:
As a general rule, Lyn Gillett Voice Studio does not accept very young children.
Students need to be aged 13 years old or more and display appropriate levels of maturity and focus.
Assessment will determine whether the individual child may be suitable to attend group classes, as vocal needs differ and may require private tuition.
This page does, however, offer guidance and tips to parents who are looking for a singing teacher for young children.
Please scroll down for parental recommendations.
Most teenagers today enjoy the latest hits from the charts, and along with some traditional exercises which are fun and songs from the popular Musical Theatre shows appropriate for them, they can sing their favorite songs, while becoming used to using the microphone and building their confidence to perform on stage. Teenage singing students are expected to practice at home. Simple scales and exercises are provided to build vocal strength. Lessons for teenagers are focused on muscle building exercises and learning what not to do. There is a deliberate focus on singing technique, such as postural alignment and stance, keeping the body relaxed and at ease; correcting head position; keeping the shoulders down instead of raised when inhaling. If teenagers can master these aspects, it will stand them in excellent stead for the future.
ABOUT THE CHILD'S SINGING VOICE:
The human voice is in a constant state of change and development; it will alter as a person gets older moving from immaturity to maturity to a peak period of prime singing before it moves into a declining period.
The vocal range and timbre of children’s voices does not have the variety that adults’ voices have.
Both boys and girls prior to puberty have an equivalent vocal range and timbre.
The reason for this is that both groups have a similar laryngeal size and height and a similar vocal cord structure.
With the onset of puberty, both men and women’s voices alter as the vocal ligaments become more defined and the laryngeal cartilages harden.
The laryngeal structure of both voices change but more so in men. The height of the male larynx becomes much longer than in women.
The size and development of adult lungs also changes what the voice is physically capable of doing.
YOUNG CHILDREN'S SINGING VOICE:
Some singing teachers will not teach young children (under the age of 13 years).
Usually this is because young children have trouble applying the necessary concentration and focus to singing that is required for optimum results.
Singing lessons for children are fine for your child, provided the overarching focus is to teach the child how to prevent damaging their voice.
The important elements to consider are your teacher’s qualification and whether they focus on vocal technique such as breathing, alignment, correcting head position, using suitable repertoire and other aspects that keep the learning experience positive.
SELECTING YOUR CHILD'S SINGING TEACHER:
Singing, listening to music, even listening carefully to notes as you tinker on a keyboard, is all helpful in developing the child’s “ear” for music.
(If you are considering learning an instrument, the best instrument for training your child’s “ear” for music is the violin.)
Humming along to tunes at home can be a great way for a child to develop its voice.
There is also plenty of sing-along material on YouTube that your child can access provided they have Internet access.
Singing teachers have varying degrees of qualification, expertise and capability.
I recommend using Australian National Association of Teachers of Singing (ANATS) as the place to start your search for an appropriately qualified singing teacher for your child.
The emphasis should not to be on your child “being a star”. Your child should learn good singing technique which will stand them in proper stead for life. There is plenty of time for them to become a “star” once the basics are in place.
Many schools that sell the idea of stardom do not focus on developing proper singing technique and this exposes young children to the risk of damaging their voices.
Group lessons can be a good way to introduce your child to singing lessons. However, children will receive greater individual attention to singing technique (and will be more likely to have individual mistakes corrected) if they have private singing lessons.
Parents should avoid group lessons where the ages of the group members are broad.
For example, teenagers are at a different stage of vocal chord development to young children; adult singers are different again.
If your child does learn in a group singing environment, make sure that they are amongst other students of their own age group.
Choirs are a popular way for children to enjoy singing.
Pops songs, such as those sung by Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift and Pink, are not suitable for young children.
So too some Disney songs have vocal ranges that are outside of the capability of young children.
Young children do not possess the singing range to hit a broad range of notes, and as a consequence, children can sound out of pitch.
Age-appropriate repertoire is a critical component of ensuring your child has a positive learning environment.
We have added a few suggestions below regarding suitable repertoire for young children. The most important element of teaching young children to sing is to teach them how they can prevent damage to their voices.
SUITABLE REPERTOIRE FOR CHILDREN:
While there are some exceptions, young children (around the age of 7-8 years old) typically have a vocal range of about an octave (on either side of Middle C) so suitable repertoire needs to be constrained to within this range. These songs are suitable for use as audition material.
Examples of Suitable Material for children (Aged 7+).
- Castle On A Cloud (Les Miserables).
- Bare Necessities (Jungle Book).
- Once Upon A December (Anastasia).
- You Are My Sunshine.
- Reflection (Mulan)
- Kiss the Girl (The Little Mermaid)
- Part of your world (The Little Mermaid)
- The Circle of Life (The Lion King)
- Fireflies (Owl City)
- Zippity Doo Dah (Disney)
- You’ve Got A Friend In Me (Toy Story)
- Tears in Heaven
- Rockin’ Robin