Back to the point: whether it be kids' CDs, church hymns, or pop songs, the girls love to sing along, and we try to encourage this. (A particular favourite is Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now", or as Frannie calls it, "The Quarter After One Song".) They're far too young yet to even consider any sort of singing lessons, so at this point "practicing" just means standing by the piano and singing along while Daddy plays. (And Mommy supplies lyrics. He's a musical genius, but remembering words presents a bit of a difficulty.)
When I heard about "Voice Lessons To Go for Kids", I thought it would be perfect for Frannie, and I was right.
Ariella Vaccarino is an accomplished Opera singer who created the "Voice Lessons to Go" CDs originally for adults, and has now expanded her products to include "Sing Out Proud", version 1 of her kids' line.
This CD is designed for young singers (pre-K through Grade 6) to learn how to warm up their voices and have fun doing it. The CD begins with insider advice on posture, breathing and diction, and moves on to vocal training exercises. I have used it with my Grade 3 students, who at first felt a little silly singing "la-a-a!" and "1-2-3-2-1!", but quickly got the hang of it. While based on expert music education, the program takes the intimidation out of singing lessons for young children.
Musical terms such as major scales, chords, octaves, staccato and legato are sung through and explained in a child-friendly way.
Frannie puts the CD on in her room by herself, and actually prefers to sing along without me there to prompt her. She enjoys feeling like she's a "real, fancy singer". (And when I told her I wanted to take the CD to school, the little monkey went and hid it on me!)
"Sing Out Proud!" nurtures children's music ability and familiarizes them with serious singing. It isn't a replacement for a rousing car ride belting out their favourite tunes, but instead a complementary product to help them develop their skills before they're ready for something more formal.
And believe me: these are the cheapest singing lessons you'll ever find, with the CD costing less than an hour of instruction. (Regularly $19.99, currently $14.99). For such a cheap price, I feel no pressure to schedule "practices" or drill my daughter to the point of tears. She can put it on when she wants to, and reap the benefits accordingly.
This is a unique gift for any child who enjoys singing and would love to enhance his or her abilities, whether it's for choir, the school talent show, or serious theatre performances...or even just for family room concerts for Grandpa and Grandma!
Click here to visit their website.
Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of the CD for review purposes. Opinions are, as always, my own.
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