It's that time of year when lots of girls will be singing around campfires. Here are some hints on how to teach some new songs.
A Strategy for Teaching Songs to Children.
1. When you are teaching a song to children, provide several opportunities for them to hear the song before they ever try to sing it. This can be done by either the singing the song for the girls or by listening to a recording of it.
You can often tell girls are ready to learn the song if they mouth the words or try to sing along while listening.
2. Before actually teaching the song, ask the girls to listen very carefully to the song one more time through, noticing parts of the song that are the same or different from each other. For example, in "Here Comes a Bluebird" ask: "Is the melody to the words 'Here comes a bluebird' repeated to other words in the
song?" (Ans.- yes "in through my window" is the same.)
3. Sing the song 1 phrase at a time, asking the girls to sing after you each time. Point to the group each time it is their turn. e.g.,
- leader "Here comes a bluebird " (point to group)
- girls "Here comes a bluebird"
- leader "in through my window" (point to group)
- girls "in through my window"
- leader "Hey, diddle-um-a" (point to group)
- girls "Hey, diddle-um-a"
- leader "day, day, day!" (point to group)
- girls "day, day, day!" etc.
Be sure NOT to sing out loud when the group is singing, otherwise the girls tend to try to listen to you rather than singing themselves, and sing only half heartedly.
4. Repeat this process doubling up the phrases, e.g.,
- leader "Here comes a Bluebird in through my window" (point to class)
- girls "Here comes a Bluebird in through my window"
- leader "Hey, diddle-um-a day, day, day!" (point to class)
- girls "Hey, diddle-um-a day,day,day!" etc.
5. Sing the complete song, ask group to repeat it all - leader mouthing the words, BUT NOT SINGING OUTLOUD to support group.
6. Finally allow the group to sing alone with no support. When starting the song, tap the beat ( two fingers in the palm is a good way) and then sing the words "Ready, SING!" to the starting note of the song. Do NOT count out loud unless you are sure of yourself and the meter of the song. Counting "1, 2, 3..." before singing, is often more confusing than helpful, unless the song is in 3/4 time