Tuneful: to be able to sing independently with accurate intonation.
Translation: a child can sing by themselves and stay in tune, in an appropriate key (not too high, not too low.)
We work to develop tunefulness by participating in vocal exploration activities at the beginning of every class. We slide up and down through our vocal range, warming up the tiny muscles that make up our vocal folds (aka. vocal chords.)
Students are constantly singing songs, both short simple tunes and longer more complex melodies. We sing fragment songs, such as echo songs and call and response. This breaks down the phrases and provides a positive vocal example at the same time.
To encourage vocal independence, students in the grades PreK through 1 frequently sing solo (by themselves) a cappella (without any accompanying instruments.)
Students practice singing and creating their own melodies (improvisation) by visiting "The Arioso Kingdom." During this segment of the lesson, students create their own melodies. It can be as simple as humming with a hummingbird finger puppet, or as complex as improvising a sung conversation with a classmate.
As students move into upper elementary grades (2nd through 5th), focus is placed on proper vocal technique. The use of round vowel sounds and crisp consonants helps to create a beautiful choral sound when singing together for performances, such as the Winter and Spring concerts.
How can you extend this learning at home? Encourage your children to sing for you! Ask them to sing a song from Music class. Here is a list of a few things they can share with you:
PreK: Snail Snail and Bling Bling
JK: Peep Squirrel and Wake Up You Lazy Bones
Kinder: Fais Dodo and A Ram Sam Sam
1st: Pitter Patter and Cobbler Cobbler
2nd: 2468 and Great Big House in New Orleans
3rd: Closet Key and John Kanaka
4th: Oh, How Lovely Is the Evening and Duchess For Tea (Brace yourself. It's silly!)
5th: Sing Me Another and Goin' Down to Cairo (pronounced "Kay-Row")
Even better? Ask your child to teach you one of these songs and make music together at home!