Singing - A Sample 30 Minute Lesson
In my previous posts I've shared a lot of links about the music instruction of singing in Charlotte Mason schools. You can read Part 1 here, Part 2 here, and today, I'll share a sample lesson of what a MODERN Tonic Sol-fa would look like! We still use the same types of principles of breaking up a lesson in rhythm training, sight singing, vocal exercises, etc. Those same principles can be applied using available resources! And don't forget, the modulator, sight-singing, time, and ear-training concepts can all be covered with the units from Solfa Sofa!!! Let the work I already did help you out in your lesson planning!
Here's what the timetable has to say:
Voice Training - 3 minutes
This is training the voice with vocal exercises that increase the vocal range of students, develop good diction and vowel placement and singing timbre of the students! My favorite clinicians for children's choir exercises are Henry Leck and Jay Althouse
This is also a great handout with examples!
Modulator Drill - 5 minutesDon't feel like you have to be stuck with pointing to a poster on the wall. Use creative examples of body placement and physical movement to demonstrate the melodic range and patterns of the scale.
Sight Singing - 3 minutes
Following a notation system either with a 5 line staff or something more basic and elemental for younger students, you will guide students in sight singing the intervals on the staff.
Time/Rhythm - 7 minutesIn the Tonic Sol-fa method, there are music education writers that have listed rhythm as the most important concept of a music foundation. I agree that students should be trained to have a steady beat and understand the beat vs. rhythm concept and these 7 minutes of a lesson can be scaffolded to increase beat and rhythm awareness! Use flashcards, games, and dictation to practice the concept of rhythm!
Ear Training - 4 minutesTraining the habit of attention and allowing the students to hear the relationship of intervals is a huge part of solfege lessons. You could hum intervals or play them on an instrument and have students decode the melody from listening to each line or phrase. You can incorporate this into a larger scope of the lesson by using a folk song or singing game to have students decode the rhythm and pitch of the song!
Other ideas for ear training include having students listen for instrument families of the orchestra! Follow a melodic direction up or down in a song, listen and identify fast/slow, loud/soft, etc. I recommend the Faber Piano Adventure series for learning to play piano and there are many fun ear training exercises that could be adapted to a classroom activity for students to listen and develop a keen observation of musical concepts!
Practice of Pieces - 8 minutes
Finish your music lesson with 8 wonderful minutes of singing! Review old songs, learn new songs, and enjoy the art of singing together! This is a great time to add in songs from other languages and cultures, folk songs, singing games, and hymns!
I hope that clarifies some examples of the concepts of a singing lesson for your children! With Form 1B there is only 15 minutes in the timetable once a week for a lesson like this because there is no solfa in their curriculum. Focus on singing games and dances that enforce the steady beat and a good tone quality of singing voice!!! Let me know if you have any questions!