Updated: Mar 1
My newest book, the Singing Kids’ Songbook, is going to be available this week, and I couldn’t be more excited! I have wanted to create a songbook like this for a long time, and to see it come to fruition is a dream come true. This release is Level 1 of the series, which is for our youngest and/or beginning singers.
That doesn’t really tell you enough, however… this is not just a book of songs. It is a progressive, scaffolded approach to learning songs using a wide variety of genres, singing techniques, musical concepts. It comes with text-only pages, lead-sheet style pages with melody and text only, full accompaniment pages with chord symbols, and activity pages - all designed to simplify the process while engaging young and beginning singers!
If you’ve read my book Teaching the Child Singer, you know that I speak about the different ages and stages of young singers. It’s really important for us to remember that not all kids are at the same place developmentally, regardless of age.
The singers who recorded the songs from this book are in the age range of 5-13 and all vary in their stage of abilities. Some kids are going through puberty and need a little extra help with register shifts and tuning of pitches. While some kids may be younger and have secure singing techniques but need more guidance with physical and cognitive development in developing and our younger singers might need more help with reading and processing certain information. You might have a singer who’s already very advanced and singing really well, but is brand new to the techniques of singing or musicianship concepts.
Beginning students of all ages can benefit from this songbook because they can learn new concepts through familiar songs as well as new repertoire they’ve never heard before. Elements of musicianship, performance, and singing technique are introduced in a way that’s fun and easy for kids to understand.
They will develop skills in how to stand for singing, how and when to bow, how to develop character and storytelling skills. where to look when performing a song and how to manage different styles of singing. Developing a better sense of how to use their bodies in an efficient way for singing. You might have a singer who’s already very advanced and singing really well, but knows nothing about the techniques of singing or musicianship concepts.
Because the techniques learned in the songs build on one another, there’s also lots of opportunity for repetition. This is essential for kids! Many children need a little extra time when it comes to learning new concepts, and as they’re growing and developing, they need to revisit skills regularly to make sure that as they grow they are still building on these concepts, as they themselves are changing very rapidly!
The Singing Kids’ Songbook also provides structure, which has been proven to build confidence and helps kids feel safe. Children tend to feel very comfortable and confident when they know what’s coming next. When they know what the lesson is going to look like structurally, they tend to be much more relaxed and not be so nervous about what to expect - especially our shy singers and those who have perfectionism tendencies. And when they know the routine, it is easier to give them agency over what they want to accomplish. You can let them pick and choose from what they already know, which also helps to build confidence and decision making skills!
For students who need to build confidence in foundational skills, these songs will offer them a chance to progress without the constant need to choose repertoire. When given an open-ended option, oftentimes kids don’t really know what they want to work on, much less what would serve them best. A set progression of repertoire allows them to eliminate the excessive thoughts and noise in their heads about what they should or shouldn’t be doing or what they like and don’t like.
It’s also important to keep kids engaged, and every teacher knows what it feels like when this is a challenge! Kids will have fun engaging with and writing in their very own songbook, both in and out of their lessons, and some of the activities really give them a chance to use their creativity to connect further with the songs. And because the songbook comes with access to accompaniment tracks and recordings of age-similar young singers performing the songs, kids will also be inspired when they hear their peers singing the song they are studying. They may even listen to other songs further ahead in the songbook and become inspired to work their way toward that song.
The Singing Kids’ Songbook can be used in the private studio in both individual lessons and group singing classes. It can also be a great resource for student curriculum in the music classroom at the K-5 levels, helping to easily provide structure and/or skill building.
However you choose to use this songbook, I know you’ll find it to be a great resource for your teaching, as well as something your students will truly enjoy. After all, it was made just for them! Once you’ve had a chance to work with it, tell me about your experiences and your students’ experiences with the Singing Kid’s Songbook. Drop me a note via email or on social media and tell me about it - I’d love to hear from you!