Submitted by Pamela Rezach, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
Idea posted January 3, 2002
Something I've done that has really helped to find singing voices is use my "singing puppy." It's a little dalmatian stuffed animal - beanie baby size. All I have to do is bring him out when the students have forgotten to use their head voices... immediately their singing voices "appear." It's so neat! I compare using a puppy's voice to an elephant's voice. It seems to be a big help in helping the children understand all the other explanations that have been already given on this thread.
Also, I have them talk to me in their regular speaking voices, followed by ugly speaking voices, and then a speaking head voice. We immediately go into a singing voice from that point. They say the same thing for each kind of voice. For instance, "Hello. It's a beautiful day." This has made a tremendous difference in their ability to tell the difference between their voice abilities.
Game: One 6-8 inch ball is needed. Students sit in a circle. The first student sings any pitch s/he wants to sing on "lou." He then rolls the ball while maintaining that pitch until another student catches the ball. That student then sings a pitch. (It can be the one s/he just heard, or it can be a new one.) The rest of the class then decides if the pitch stayed the same or was changed. If changed, they tell if it went higher or lower. Then, the entire class sings the two pitches (if two different pitches were sung).
This game helps breath control and pitch control. The process takes the pressure off those who can't match pitch (for the time being), yet makes everyone stay involved. We continue until everyone has had a turn to be the pitch giver.