Sunday, May 22, 2016

What My Child Taught Me About Singing Time

My son doesn't like to sing. :(

That's right: the 7-year old child of a pianist, accompanist, piano teacher, strong and loud alto, Primary Music Leader...doesn't like to sing. He won't even try. He just assumes he can't sing. He's a class clown in Primary, especially during Singing Time. But, as the Sunday of Rolos for Solos approached, he wanted the Rolos--without the work.

We had a talk about his attitude toward singing, what he hears versus what I hear when he sings, why it shouldn't bother him if other kids laugh at him when he sings, how practice makes much better, etc. I tried to cover the bases without it being a lecture. I assured him that he doesn't need to be the loudest singer: he just needs to know and sing the songs. Then, we had a somewhat unsuccessful singing session.

But it helped. Immensely! He asked me later to practice with him again, and he did great! On the Sunday we did Rolos for Solos, he sang a trio (I allow for duos and trios) and earned his Rolos. I was so proud of him.

Why doesn't every child like to sing? I feel so free and carefree when singing. I know some are shy or have been teased in the past; maybe some believe they are tone-deaf or have been told so. Are they scared to sing in public? Maybe they'll forget the words. Maybe they're not hearing the right notes or they hit a note off-key.

In all the pomp and circumstance of Singing Time, in the simple messages or hand motions that we use, what are we teaching the children? What are they actually learning from us? Have you talked to them about your experiences with singing--the good, the bad, and the ugly?

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