What do you do when a student can’t seem to find their singing voice? That’s the question I’ll touch on here.
Besides roller coasters and imitation, singing songs with solos like Doggie, Doggie, Johnny’s It, Let’s Hide the Pumpkin, etc., can help students hear that they’re not matching. Some students are tough cases, though. Several of my students have had success with PVC pipe “telephones.” When they sing into the phone, they will hear themselves clearly even when the class is singing.
Another activity you may not know about is the “singing cave.” This idea was shared many years ago by Frankye Peterson. Her Kodály training program thought it up . My singing cave is a refrigerator box that I trimmed and decorated. Two-three students can usually stand inside together. I sing patterns to them and the students echo me. Inside the box, the sound is a little more enclosed and students can hear themselves more clearly. It’s also a quick way to assess the whole group in just a few minutes.
Prior to the singing cave, we always perform Going on a Bear Hunt, and a teddy bear waits for the students inside the cave. It’s a fun activity and students in older grades always want to go in the cave when it’s out!