Saturday, November 10, 2012

Teaching Kids To Sing Review - Becoming A Vocal Athlete

Chris and Carole Beatty are the creators of a fabulous collection of singing products called Vocal Coach. Their amazing product line is designed to teach others to sing making it the perfect music curriculum for homeschool families. They have been teaching for over 40 years and also conduct workshops around the country. This wonderful couple is passionate about teaching people both young and old to sing and it definitely shows in their DVDs.

"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

A moms review: 
I think I am beginning to sound like a broken record...but I'm going to say it again any way. This year I wanted to be sure to include a lot more music and art into our homeschool days and thanks to the TOS Crew we have gotten some fabulous music resources. Music lessons are not something we can afford right now and my sweet 6 yr old daughter REALLY wants to learn to sing and play a musical instrument. Well thanks to programs like the Teaching Kids To Sing series she can learn about posture, breathing, tone, rhythm, and diction, among many other things in a fun and easy to understand way from the comfort of our living room.

We reviewed Teaching Kids To Sing which is designed for 5-13 year olds. The DVDs are definitely Christian based which you can tell by the mentioning of God and scripture throughout the lessons and songs.

Before starting the DVDs I read through the GREAT homeschool section on the Vocal Coach website. There are recommendations on how to best utilize the program. These are simply recommendations though and you can use the DVDs however they best suite your family and needs. There are also exams and lots of questions and answers to help you enhance your child's singing experience...including how to help changing boy voices transition more smoothly.

We decided to work through the DVDs in order. The first time we watched Volume 1 the children were shy and just decided to watch. They didn't get involved or sing (which shocked me). I was very sad and didn't think they would be interested in the DVDs. But...the second time I popped in Volume 1 they started participating and singing along with the DVD. And they already knew most of the words to the songs (I guess they soaked everything in the first time they watched it). We watched Volume 1 - Building Foundations That Last several times and then after I felt the kids had mastered the lessons we moved onto Volume 2 Essential Skills For Growing Voices. My children really liked the fact that there were children singing in the DVDs.

Included in the series is the Teaching Kids to Sing Accompaniment CD. This CD has all of the warm-ups and songs from Volume 1 and 2. Each exercise and song is offered in two formats. First, with Chris and the Vocal Coach Kids singing with you. Second, with just the accompaniment. After we would do our DVD lesson we would then apply what we learned by using the accompaniment CD. This CD was also great for car rides (I love learning on the go).

I loved hearing my children throughout the day while they were playing singing the songs from the DVDs.

More details about what is included in Teaching Kids To Sing:
The goal of the program is for "children to learn proper posture and vocal habits as well as the necessary vocal techniques for developing their speaking and singing voices." Each DVD is about 45 minutes long. The three disk set (2 DVDs and 1 CD) includes:

Volume 1, Building Foundations That Last

In this DVD children learn all about caring for their voice and proper singing technique. They also learn that singing involves the whole body. Chris uses the term "Vocal Athletes" throughout the DVDs. There is even a great little Vocal Athlete warm-up song. Both the kids and I loved Chris's athlete analogy. And it really helped the children understand that singers just like athletes need to warm up and have proper form to do their best.

Volume 2, Essential Skills For Growing Voices

In this DVD children learn about music theory and vocal health. There are some great music theory vocab words like diction, dynamics, rhythm, tone, legato and staccato, etc that are discussed. You can easily find some worksheets online to help reinforce these words and enhance your child's learning. I especially enjoyed the part about diction because diction not only applies to singing but also speaking. This was a great little lesson especially for my son who is in speech therapy. My favorite part was where they discussed the voice being physical and showed actual scope videos of the vocal cords doing different things like yelling, etc.

CD, Accompaniment Tracks
These tracks match the warm-ups found on the DVDs, and there are two tracks for each. One is the vocals and music and one is the music only.

There is also a sheet of paper included in the case which has the words to the songs and warm-ups (great for the homeschool mom or teacher).

This would also be a great program for choirs, homeschool co-ops, schools and churches. It is well worth the $44.99 price and is something that can be viewed over and over again without getting boring. The DVDs are very interactive, engaging and fun. They also appeal to multiple learning styles. I HIGHLY recommend visiting the Vocal Coach Blog for more great information and lesson ideas. There are audios, videos and more on the Blog to help you reinforce the things your children will learn from the DVDs.

FREE stuff:
There are some free resources on the Vocal Coach website as well.

Gwyns review (6 yrs old):
I like to sing. These movies are really fun and good. I like the songs and already know all the words.

Links to follow:

-Vocal Coach Website
-Vocal Coach Blog

Where to buy:
Teaching Kids To Sing retails for $44.99 and can be purchased on the Vocal Coach website.

Some TOS Crew members also reviewed Vocal Coach Singer, which is available in an MP3 version for $99.99 as well as an 11 CD set for $119.99 click below to read those reviews.
Click here for more Teaching Kids to Sing reviews from the The Schoolhouse Review Crew.

*Disclaimer - As part of the TOS Review Crew I received Teaching Kids To Sing in return for my honest review. Please note that prices indicated in the post are subject to change. I was not compensated for my review and all opinions are our own! Many of the links found on my side bars and in my blog posts are affiliate links. As a result, I might get paid money and I will most likely spend the money on homeschool supplies.

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