Voice Lessons for Young Singers
Updated: Feb 15, 2019
By: Harriet Ethridge
Credit: Rogers & Hammerstein's "The Sound of Music" TM & © Fox (1965) Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
For a long time, many teachers agreed that you shouldn't generally start voice lessons for young singers until 10-12 years old. However, recently at FAME many of our voice & piano instructors are utilizing a new and wonderful curriculum for voice students as young as five.
The name of the curriculum is The FULL VOICE Workbook Series, and it is our solution to worries over the question "is this student too young for lessons?"
These workbooks have been researched and developed for singers working with a voice teacher in private or classroom lessons. The activities encourage music students to sing, listen, read and write music. The workbooks complement any lesson regardless of the teaching style or repertoire preferred by student or teacher.
The focus of this curriculum is to use the hand signs of the "Kodaly Method" to teach school children how notes relate to eachother. The Kodaly Method uses solfege, or a series of syllables to identify notes in a scale. You might be familiar with solfege without even knowing it... think "Do Re Mi" from The Sound of Music (above video). Maria taught you your solfege!
The Full Voice is a great way to build a foundation of musicianship that carries over to reading music and learning new instruments. Solfege and the Kodaly Method have been used all over the world for years and years. The Full Voice takes students through basic musical skills in a way that is engaging and makes sense to a young mind. You may ask yourself, how do hand signs help us sing? Ask me and I'll be happy to show you in lessons!
I have been very fortunate to have studied with a prodigy of Zoltan Kodaly, founder of Kodaly method during my time at USC. I am extremely excited about this method and the fact that it is embraced by our studio. It's a great tool to use in lessons with young singers!
Harriet Woods Ethridge received her B.A. in Music Education at the University of South Carolina. After earning an undergraduate degree, she continued graduate studies, receiving her Master’s Degree in Music Education with an emphasis in Choral Conducting. Throughout Harriet’s journey in music she received several scholarships, and awards in piano performance and the study of the violin. Ms. Ethridge later moved to Atlanta where she organized (and founded) several children’s choruses, and choirs. She sang with the Atlanta Opera Company and assisted with the administration, assisted with the Atlanta Boy Choir and sang with the award winning Robert Shaw Chorale. Ms. Ethridge has taught at several public and private schools throughout the Charleston area. She has taught all ages and grades.