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Singing / Voice lessons?

Well mamas, we bring to you another good question.  Andrea has a little singer and wants to encourage her talents so she asks:

Is there a thread on finding singing lessons for 5 year olds. My daughter really wants to take a class but I didn’t see a thread on it.

I don't think we've addressed this question yet, so let's hear it.  Who's found singing lessons for the little ones?


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Oh PLEASE don't enroll your daughter in singing lessons at age 5. It can do so much damage to her voice. Most responsible voice teachers will refuse to teach a young child before they reach puberty. Mine was strict about that, and my sister who is a piano and voice teacher as well as an elementary school music teacher says she could just kill irresponsible voice teachers who DO take on young children as students because she sees first hand the damage it does.

That being said, I'd encourage you to look for a children's choir that takes children that young. It can teach them a lot of valuable things, including singing WITH other people, learning to follow direction, being part of a larger group and making a larger sound, etc. It can be a really rewarding and valuable way to introduce a child to the world of vocal music.

If you have more questions about this, feel free to email me at kcowellshah at yahoo dot com. I can also ask my sister for her thoughts if you'd like. (Unfortunately, I can't help with specific Portland choir advice, as I haven't lived here long enough and my own child is too young.)

My 6 year old daughter sings with the Oregon Repertory Singers youth choir. They have a kindergarden-age choir, and youth choirs ranging up to high school age. Rehersal is once per week and includes a music education component. 230-0652. We've been really happy with this program.

I have been thinking of singing lessons lately because my 7-year old has demonstrated such an interest. I am curious about when teachers think it is an appropriate age to start lessons without doing damage. And, I'm also curious about what damange it does... It is because it stretches or strains vocal muscles too early or before they're formed or mature?

I found the Oregon Repertory Singers website here: http://www.oregonrepsingers.org/default.asp?id=42 It looks like youth have to audition and perform to be considered. I did this as a child and it was really intimidating. I don't know if I'd ask my daughter to audition.

Our daughter goes to Pfeifer Piano Studios for piano and they offer voice lessons (as well as guitar). We have been really happy with piano, learning theory in a very accessible, child-friendly way. Their website is here: http://www.pianowerks.com

There is also a choir program through parks and rec in vancouver, Wa that begins at age 5. Just look on their website.

I'm a voice/piano teacher at Pfeifer PianoWerks (and a mama of two little people) and I teach voice to a precocious 8 yr old girl, (my youngest student) but that's as early as I go. I don't know that singing lessons inherently damages young singers' voices--it all depends on the child and the teacher. If the child is "training" for pageants or such, then too much belting and straining will hurt the vocal chords. But if the lessons are taught as general ear training and learning fun songs to sing, and a little about performance skills, I don't see a problem with starting lessons at 8 or 9 years old (before puberty). I second the idea of a children's choir. They are wonderful introductions to singing and music reading (not to mention working as a team and listening to the director!).

Kris Van Aucken, (the Oregon Rep. Singers kindergarden choir director) is a charming person who is really gifted working with children. The "audition" part of joining the choir, particularly for 5 year olds is very low-key. Hope this helps.

If Kindermusik is available here, this class offers an excellent curriculum that is totally age appropriate. The only concern is that it may be out of the price range for some families. Kindermusik stress making music together as a family everyday, not just on special occasions like holidays.

Does it really hurt? What about all those Vienna Choir Boys and those sorts of things? I don't know much about this, but it is the first time I heard it could hurt.

I am a voice teacher as well, and my youngest student is 11. Prior to age 10/11, I would REALLY encourage becoming involved in a children's choir. There are several great ones in town--Ore. Rep. Singers, as well as the Portland Girlchoir. They offer vocal training, performing opportunities, and FUN. Too many kids get burnt out too early. There are also singing classes offered at Northwest Children's Theatre, which is a great environment for kids.

should i get my eaight year old into singing

I am a Portland mama who just started a wonderful new music school with my husband, Chris in NE Portland (right off MLK on Beech). We offer voice lessons and a variety of other instrument lessons and classes for all ages. Here is a link to our website www.soundrootsmusic.com for more info.
We hope you will consider joining us!

I am a voice teacher and I teach children as young as 5 safe, age-appropriate singing lessons. I don't live in the area, but I published a singing lesson book that you or another voice teacher can use for children ages 5-9. It's called "Singing Lessons for Little Singers" and it can be purchased here: http://www.lulu.com/commerce/index.php?fBuyContent=6131551

well done you guys can you guys give me some vocal lessons plz i am good at singing but it is just my vocals.my number is 07535510096 my other number is 07506175885

I started lessons with a group of 15 to 20 kids when I was 9 because I couldn't sing on key / tone deaf. I am now a vocal coach. I have taught in this same way. There are many excercises that are safe for young kids to do and many that are not appropriate.
safe would be, lip rolls, trills, nay nay (whine) for vocal connecting and mum, mum for mixing chest with head.

Sorry for the bad link. The singing lesson book for 5-9 year olds is available at http://stores.lulu.com/pitchperfect. They also have an information site up at http://littlesingers.info.

I have been using this method for a year now teaching children as young as 5 and as old as 9 (although I have actually used parts of it with my adult students). It is great because it has some serious technical exercises but all are completely safe and age-appropriate for any age.

I am trying to learn music because i have a deep wish to become a famous singer.

I am a vocal teacher and have students aged all over the spectrum. My youngest is 5, and my oldest is 28. While you do have to be careful who you choose for your very young child's voice lessons. . . there is absolutely nothing wrong with teaching them the right way. I make it very clear to all my parents of the little ones, that I willl not be working on the overall tone/range of the child. . it will mostly be about music awareness, basic theory, learning new songs, and having fun. There are definitely teachers out there who will try to put a strain on a young child's range or voice. .. but I am not one of them, and I am sure there are a lot of teachers out there like me.

Schools lie 4/4 or Virtuoso (that's the one I work with) are good about finding the right teachers for each student. I'm not sure where this site is based geographically, but I teach in downtown Seattle out of my home.

Basically. . .be careful. . .but it can be GREAT!

Is there something that a parent can do at home with a 5 year old who is showing a real interest and obvious talent for singing? My son is 5 and sings on pitch for every song he hears - even for the first time.

I studied classical singing from a very young age (I'm in my late 20s now). And I am still singing now. You definitely don't want to strain the voice... if it hurts after you sing or do a speech, you're probably not using the best technique...

The only thing that was a problem for me was the focus on competition. I remember a few adjudicators commenting on my clothing for way more than was neccessary. It is NOT a pageant. I really enjoyed one kiwanis festival that ran as a master class format - the focus was on learning, not on competition. Also, you have to be careful not to teach people that there is only one way to sing or to make children lose their love of singing, which happened to me for a while... Bob Dylan doesn't use proper technique, but he is very influencial. Look for a teacher that can teach classical technique AND nurture a love of music.

I just opened a piano and voice lesson business in Portland and can tell you that helping young children to follow music on a page, sing the correct pitch, work on pronunciation and just have fun singing age and vocal chord appropriate will not do any damage to young voices.

I would say that choirs could do more damage because they may strain children's voices by asking them to sing too high.

My youngest voice student is 5 and she already sings disney songs all day long, so why not help her figure out what the words mean and give her the opportunity to collaborate with a piano?

As long as a voice teacher doesn't ask children to sing with vibrato, because children's voices are incapable of singing with true vibrato, so they just learn to shake their voice which causes terrible amounts of tension. Check out Jackie Evancho or Charlotte Churches old videos and you will see the tension.

If anyone is interested in piano or voice lessons for their children, I would be happy to get them started. I incorporate theory and solfege as well, at an age-appropriate level of course.


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