Someone on another chatboard recently posted a great question about male music teachers modeling properly for their kids. Here's what I do:

First, I try not to sing with them. I only model for them. In the early grades I do all of my modeling in the upper register, their range. FYI, proper support is crucial! Without proper support you will damage your voice. What I can't model comfortably I play on the recorder. I try to play it on the alto recorder if I can because it  resembles their timbre more closely.

In higher grades, after they are comfortable matching pitch, I explain the difference in the male voice and then make it a bit of a game. I will take a song they are very familiar with and sing it in my range. Their goal is to echo it in their range. Call and response songs and echo songs work well for this also. This helps significantly but, to be honest, I never fully get out of singing in their range. I just choose when I do it, how I do it, and never talk/sing over them.

One other thing that I do is let the kids hear voices modeled in their range. I will play some of our songs on the computer and let the students hear a female voice model it for them. That seems to be helpful because then they don't just have me as a model.
 
 
Here are a few videos using Pachelbel's Canon in D. I'm going to try the 2nd one with my 6th graders this year - maybe...

There are a lot of really neat resources for students!

 
 
Every year it seems like the summers get shorter and shorter. And now it's about time to go back to school. Don't get me wrong, I love what I do. However, I also love spending time with my family.

I was a little bummed about the summer music program that was planned. We didn't have enough participation to make it a go. I definitely found plenty to do with other music activities though. Maybe next summer. 

Over time I really hope to let this blog and web site evolve into something that is really helpful for a wide variety of people including teachers, homeschooler's, parents, and anyone else who just wants to be a part of the musical world. 

I will leave you with this wonderful song to enjoy!

 
 
If you've ever had to travel with a young child or baby you know what this post could be all about! If the baby does not travel well no one travels well. We had one of those trips this afternoon. We were visiting family today for a pre-Easter celebration. We decided to go there and back in one day because we have a new baby that is almost 5 months old. She is not used to being in new places overnight and we aren't either.

Our departure was timed to coincide with our newborn's nap schedule. Our newborn didn't agree though. She was overtired and was going to have none of it. About 30 minutes into the trip she started crying something terrible! Nothing we were doing was helping. All seemed hopeless. Then in a blast of brilliance I asked my oldest daughter, six years old, to start singing to her sister.

The result was nothing short of amazing!!!

Within minutes our baby started to calm down and even doze off. After 15 minutes of calm family singing she was sound asleep and stayed that way until we arrived home.

Music has a special impact on people in so many different ways. It is influential physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and academically. Today was no different. It calmed our youngest daughter physically. It kept us from going bonkers mentally. It was emotionally soothing and brought joy to my oldest to help like that. It was an answer to prayer (I know that analogy is a stretch but it's true!). And finally, I was able to teach my oldest daughter a few new songs in the process (that's the academic part).

Music does something for the human soul that few other elements can. Thank God for music!