Singing plays such an integral part in our children’s early development – but it doesn’t have to stop there! Singing is essentially an aerobic activity that boosts oxygenation in the bloodstream, increasing mental alertness. Experts also believe that the variety of skills needed for singing, including coordination and listening, help develop the brain. In short, singing is good for our children on so many levels it’s difficult to know where to start!
1 Singing is food for the soul
One of my best memories as a music teacher is of watching happy pupils skip out of my classroom, glowing and smiling after a singing lesson, saying, “That was such FUN, Mrs Harman!” It is a great feeling knowing that your pupils have been actively learning and training the brain but that they’ve been having lots of fun in the process!
The very act of belting out our favourite song sends a rush of endorphins through our body, leaving us feeling uplifted and generally in a much better mood. This can only be a good thing for children, particularly when mental health issues regarding school children are on the increase and there is more pressure to ‘succeed’ at school. Which brings me to my next point:
2. Singing reduces stress levels and gives the body (particularly the lungs) a great work-out
Singing delivers a host of physical and emotional benefits, including increased aerobic exercise, improved breathing, posture, mind-set, confidence and self-esteem. Interestingly, researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, found that choristers’ heartbeats synchronise when they sing together, bringing about a calming effect that is as beneficial to our health as yoga.
“Song is a form of regular, controlled breathing, since breathing out occurs on the song phrases and inhaling takes place between these,” says study leader, Dr Björn Vickhoff. “It gives you pretty much the same effect as yoga breathing. It helps you relax, and there are indications that it does provide a heart benefit.” Singing can be a great way of releasing tension in your mind and body and erasing the stresses of the day.
In my singing lessons, I teach children the importance of breath control and deep breathing. I think that it’s important for children to learn how to use their breath to help manage difficult situations in which they may be feeling anxious, worried, or to help deal with pain if they are hurt in any way.
I also teach children to use their whole body when they sing, as this is hugely important. We talk about using our core muscles to breath correctly and to focus all our energy into producing a great sound.
3. Singing boosts confidence and self-esteem
For children who are shy or need a confidence boost, singing can be a great way of channelling energy and expressing feelings and emotions. In singing lessons, pupils explore performance techniques and stage presence so that they feel more equipped to deal with adrenaline rushes and nerves when singing in front of an audience.
4. Singing with others is fun!
The great thing about singing is that it is so accessible as an instrument! Your voice is with you everywhere you go. Whether you want to sing on your own, in the car with your family or with your friends in the playground, singing can be done anytime and anywhere and instantly makes you feel like you’re part of a team. Learning to work together in a group or choir can give children a sense of collectiveness and can help children make friends.
5. Singing focuses the mind and feeds the brain
Singing nursery rhymes and simple songs teaches young children how language is constructed and assists with the acquisition of language. Singing songs with your child and encouraging them to listen to a variety of song genres will encourage them to explore and develop and awareness of tone, pulse, rhythm and pitch. These music elements can be learnt and explored further in our fun and engaging singing lessons.
Learning the lyrics to songs is a great way of exercising a child’s memory and regular singing can help with language and communication skills. When speaking about his childhood, multi-award winning singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran explains how rapping to Eminem helped him over-come an acute stutter. Singing can also be used as a creative and fun way to increase enjoyment and achievement in subject areas where children normally struggle. There are some wonderful educational apps out there such as Maths Rockx, which focuses on teaching times tables through song.
To quote the wonderful Ella Fitzgerald, “The only thing better than singing – is more singing”.
How do I get my child to sing?
Not sure where to start? Here are a few ideas!
- Sing in the car / with the radio on full blast!
- Make playlists of your favourite songs as a family
- Book some fun and engaging singing lessons
- Encourage your child to join a choir or performing arts group (there are so many to choose from!)
- Help your child start a band
- Buy a karaoke kit such as ‘Sing Star’
- Encourage your children to put on ‘shows’ for the you and your family
- Have fun with your child making up silly songs you can sing together
We Can Help!
Whether you are looking for way to bring singing and music into your child's life through lessons or you want to nurture a clear interest in music your child already has get in touch and let our team help. Our fun and engaging lessons allow children to enjoy learning to sing rather than being forced to do so. We even offer child and parent sessions if you have always wanted to learn to sing too!
Get In Touch today to find out more!