Guiding and supporting elementary choral singing

Students in today's elementary schools have little or no opportunity to learn the skill of singing. Historically, in the United States, teachers have used the song approach to teaching music to children. In this approach students learn about music and singing through the singing of songs. In contrast, this report will show that when teachers use the voice training approach, students learn how to coordinate all the different psychomotor skills necessary to improve their ability to sing. These psychomotor-skills include: posture and breath management, the open-throat and resonant tone production, and enunciation. This research explores the use of good teaching practices including speech activities, echo singing, and tonic sol-fa with the Curwin hand signs. These teaching practices coupled with range-appropriate choral literature appear to provide students the best opportunity to become confident singers. Betty Atterbury's research has concluded that when young students experience success in the skill of singing, it can positively affect their attitude toward further musical study.