So what two things can we focus on to enable your child to increase their confidence?
In Little Voices lessons one of our main aims is to instil and develop confidence into our pupils right from day one. This is done through structured lessons and informal activities such as games.
But how can you also help build and develop your child’s confidence?
1) Encouragement and Compliments are key to a child’s confidence in any subject. By focussing on what they do really well, they will start to believe. Once a child starts to believe in themselves they will start to achieve. This is why in the notebooks we have ‘www’ it stands for ‘what went well’ – this is key to a child’s confidence and all round development not just in drama and singing. In many ways at Little Voices drama and singing is the fun, educational vehicle used to help this fundamental life skill!
2) Focusing on the ‘Glass half Full’ is so crucial to a child believing in themselves and achieving. Concentrate on all the things that a child does really well. So for instance if we have a child who is playing ‘Oliver’ in the musical by the same name and he can’t do a Cockney accent it is not the end of the world. We need to concentrate and accentuate all the things that he does well when playing this character; his natural swagger, body language, characterisation, interaction with his other characters, well executed sung vocal solos with accurate diction, articulation, breathing and projection.
“What to look out for this Christmas when our children, or indeed we, put on a show”
We have all done it or been at a relative’s house when their children have done it or indeed we have got involved and……… “put on a show!”
The obligatory dressing up box, high heels, microphone, piano, keyboard, guitar and the important ingredient……… that all important …….. audience!
Even in your twenties, thirties, forties and beyond it is fun to have a jamming session or impromptu sing along with friends and family after a meal.
Wherever you are this Christmas, whether it is you, your 4 year old, your teenage son or friends make sure that you encourage that performance, give lots of praise and at the same time secretly watch!
Look out for the:
· Projection of their speaking or singing voice
· Confidence to sing or act alone
· Excellent breath control
· Creative imagination as they improvise songs or scenes
· Impressively crisp diction
· Natural musicality, rhythm, timing and intonation
· Innate Comedy
· Ability to rise to the occasion
· Spatial awareness and appropriate use of movement
These are all important aspects of performance and practise makes perfect. Performances of all types are crucial! Let this holiday season be a fun filled, impromptu performance one!
We don’t have a drum in our bodies for singing do we?
Vocal Tip # 3: Tighten That Drum
We start talking using the technical words for singing in Mini Voices. Often describing the diaphragm and saying that it is a tricky word because the ‘f’ sound is created with a ‘ph’!! We talk about what shape it is and where it is!
Our pupils get used to the terminology and of course we build on this so that by the time they are being examined on the technicalities of the singing voice from age 14 upwards it is very familiar!
It is absolutely essential to proper singing technique that a singer understands how the diaphragm, lungs, and chest cavity affects their singing. Think of these 3 combined as forming a drum. A drum that is tuned loosely sounds flat and boring, as it lacks resonance. So the idea is to expand your rib cage by flexing the muscles that pull your ribs in and out. Effectively tightening that “drum”. This will result in better tones in your voice as well as increasing your lung capacity, allowing you to take less breathes between verses, resulting in better control.
What’s the second tip for becoming a superb singer?
Vocal Tip # 2: Breathing
Getting used to breathing well is a fabulous tool for life in general but of course crucial for singing! If you can take control of your breathing you can remain calm in all situations too! As adults we often get thrown into situations that push us out of our comfort zones. Learning to use your breath effectively will help tremendously!
Try holding your breath and singing or even speaking. You get the point. Clearly air is a major component to singing. When singing a melody, the words are expressed quite differently than if you were to simply recite the sentences aloud. The volume, the pitch, the tone, and the tempo can have you gasping for air before you know it.
Learning and mastering proper breathing is one of the keys to instantly improving your ability to sing. Unless we are exercising, normally our breathing is quite shallow. As we begin training our body to sing, we need to take deeper breaths in order to sustain our sound loud and clear for our listening audience. At first you may even feel a rush of dizziness as the deeper you breath, the more oxygen that gets to your brain. But don’t worry. Your body just needs to get used to proper and more efficient breathing.
Have a super week and let us know if the vocal tips are helping!