Chris and Carole Beatty, creators and founder of Vocal Coach, have over 40 years of experience in coaching singers, young and old alike, in the proper way to sing and use their voice.
I was given the opportunity to review one of their products, Teaching Kids to Sing. This is a 3 disc set, 2 teaching DVD's and 1 CD, which contains all of the music that is introduced on the DVD's in two formats- music with and without vocals (26 tacks total). Also included is a page with the song lyrics. The price for this set is $44.99. There are no lesson plans included with the set, but on their website they have a page dedicated to homeschool including ideas on how to incorporate the topic areas throughout your week.
Teaching Kids to Sing was developed to be used with kids ages 5-13 and starts with the basics including: posture, breathing, tone, warm-ups, rhythm, diction, dynamics, voice health, and more. These topics are divided between the two DVD's, each being approximately 45 minutes in length. I should mention that the songs taught throughout the program are Christian based.
~ How we are using it ~
I popped in disc 1, Building Foundations That Last, which covers posture, breathing, tone, and warm-ups. My kids cannot seem to ever just listen to one lesson/part of anything. They want to listen to the whole thing through and then go back and do the whole thing again. I think that alone says a lot about the DVD's. Especially since they are around 45 minutes long. The lessons are taught by the Beatty's, but there is also a group of children of varying ages who participate throughout. The kids did not do much singing along or interacting the first time we watched it, but they must have been listening because the second time around they were singing along and doing the exercises. The songs are catchy and the kids like them. The Breathing Rap is their favorite.
The "theme" of the lessons is centered around the kids being vocal athletes. Teaching them that singing is physical, mechanical, and acoustical and also relies on muscle memory which takes practice.
After listening to the first disc a couple of times, the next day we watched disc 2, Essential Skills for Growing Voices. The second disc covers rhythm, diction, dynamics, and vocal health.
My kids who are using this are four and five years old. Some of the concepts they picked up on and some of them not so much yet. I think the belly breathing is probably the most difficult for them to grasp. I am pretty sure that they have never thought about that before, and neither had I. As they say though, practice, practice, practice.
~ My thoughts ~
These are really fun videos that I am sure we will use many more times in the future. The Beatty's do a great job of relating the material to the kids in a fun and understandable way. I am an incredibly bad singer and I am hoping that I too can improve so I can at least sing in the car without scaring anyone. Actually it is too late for me, but there is definitely hope for the kids.
Many of the concepts taught in Teaching Kids to Sing can apply to many areas of music and will be a benefit to them for years to come. I think most all children are musical, not that they will all grow up to be singers/musicians, but giving them a foundation to grow on is important.
The Schoolhouse Review Crew had the opportunity to review two different products by Vocal Coach. The other product being reviewed was Vocal Coach Singer. Click on the link below to read additional reviews of both products.
As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.