Speaking Voices and Singing Voices

Children’s Voices

Our voice is a very important part of our identity.   We communicate emotion and meaning with our voices, and it’s one of the ways we connect with others.  The amazing thing is that all voices sound different!!

The children, and ourselves, can experience all the elements of music with their voices and the movement of their bodies.  This develops an inner musicality which enriches their lives, whether they learn a pitched instrument or not, and nurtures a love of music and the sense of well being only music can bring in every day life.

What are the elements of music?

  • Duration: Beat, Rhythm, Tempo
  • Pitch
  • Dynamics
  • Tone Colour
  • Structure

Children learn about the elements of music using rhyme and song with the Kodaly philosophy

Baby SOH came home after school this afternoon wearing a crown that she had made for the day.

She was very excited about this crown, and we started talking together about the rhymes we knew that had a queen in them.  Of course Baby SOH loves to make up her own rhymes which is great, and she loves playing with rhyming words!!

What a great way to become familiar with the sounds of language.

One of her favourites is Pussycat Pussycat Where have you been?  This is a great rhyme, because it is a question and answer rhyme, and adult and child/group can take turns to be the cat.  It also gives lots of opportunity to use expressive voices, to experiment with the pitch and dynamics, and experience the beat and rhythm of the text.

Pussycat pussycat where have you been?

I’ve been up to London to visit the queen.

Pussycat pussycat what did you there?

I  frightened a little mouse under her chair! (traditional)


Using puppets, the hand-made version with a paddlepop stick or the commercial variety, provides the opportunity for FUN, and encourages less confident children to speak by themselves, as their attention is on the puppet.


Speaking Voices and Singing Voices

It takes time for children to develop an awareness of their singing and speaking voices.

Baby SOH found some sentences she had brought home from school a while back, and starting reading them in her speaking voice.  I started singing them with a simple melody just for fun.

She said she was singing too, although she was speaking.

After a few turns, she intentionally used her singing voice rather than her speaking voice and made up her own melody.  Children are music makers!!

As a grandmother and teacher

I really find it very  enjoyable and rewarding to facilitate opportunities for young children to develop confidence and musicality (exploring pitch, in-tune) when using their voice.

I love to hear you sing Baby SOH!  Nannyjay



About nannyjay

I am an early childhood music specialist, with a passion for music, music for singing, music for children, classical music, contemporary, good quality folk recordings, moving to music that comes from a feeling within. Having recently become a grandmother, the months are flying past too quickly!! I have decided that I would like to record the musical journey Baby SOH and I will take together. Music enhances my own life, and I have seen the contribution music makes to family lives, and children's lives from their youngest days. I am also interested in the contribution music makes to family relationships. I love to sing myself, and so the Kodaly philosophy of music education sits very well with me. Zoltan Kodaly was a Hungarian music educator and composer, and believed that singing is the foundation for all music education. I will soon be attending the early childhood music seminar of the International Society of Music Educators in Beijing, China, which is very exciting. People from the world over meet to share the latest research in music for children 0 - 8 years. So the journey begins.
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