Teacher Free Resource Ideas:
vocalisation pack ideas: collect your own resource items or order online and incorporate these into your sessions.
Vocalisation Ideas For Early Childhood Music.
- including Items in our Vocalising Kit:
by Anna Mlynek-Kalman
To help children and teachers sing tunefully it is recommended to sing in a head or high voice. This ensures a gentle soft sound and a wider range. In order to find a singing voice instead of a
speaking voice we vocalise and warm up our voices or the muscles that we use to sing.
You need to listen to the children to ensure they are not just making a sound but the right kind of sounds- in the head voice register!
Descending sounds are the best to begin with –so start up high and slide down.
*Slide Whistle: Get your slide whistle out and ask the children to copy your sounds- and movements.
Ask them to pretend they have a slide whistle in their hands too.
*Train whistles: Make train whistle sounds- first of all using the actual whistle but eventually just with your voice. The sound becomes the signal to stop what you are doing and make a
line. As soon as you hear it join the whistle sound- Toot Toot! Everybody makes the sound. Everybody lines up ready to transition.
Cooee Calls: Calling out to a friend in a high voice like we do in the bush is an excellent vocalisation technique. Usually we call out and someone calls back so we know we are not lost in
the bush. Start with teacher to children - children respond together. Another time girls call to boys and vice versa or one side of the room to the other and vice versa. Another time one child calls
– all answer. Another time try one student calling to the next in the circle (like a in broken telephone- except the message is ‘Cooee’ and the message cannot be broken!)
*Siren sounds: Use a little siren whistle blow it and ask the children to make the same sounds… CV. What other
sirens can our voices make? Fire engines / Police / Ambulance / Car Alarms / Clock Alarms / Kettle Boiling / Oven
Timer / House Alarms? etc. Make different alarm or siren sounds. Can you or the children think of others?
*Bouncing and throw and catch with an imaginary or real ball: Using a nice big soft ball bounce this to each
child making a downward / upward sound as the ball heads down to the ground and up again. Be sure the children are standing hands apart and ready to catch the ball. Another time throw the ball
gently to each child- they throw it back to you. Stand close as our main goal is to make the sound while they catch and release the ball. Another time use an imaginary ball for bouncing and or
throwing. You can throw imaginary balls high and through a goal hoop! (a little more difficult with a real ball in a class room- though this can be done outside. Children can also sit on a ball and
bounce making sounds for us to copy.
*Slinkies: Elongate the slinky up, down, in wave like motions, round and round, zigzag etc. Follow the patterns and make the appropriate sounds. Another day A child can lead us.
Another time the Teacher uses a slide whistle and children have slinkies which they use as their “pretend” slide whistles. The children copy what the teacher does on the slide whistle with
their slinkies and using their voices to imitate the sound of the whistle. Another time a child leads with a slinky.
*Scarves: Play with a scarf and allow your voice to follow the contours – up, down, round, zigzag etc. the shapes it makes- Initially the teacher models demonstrates making the scarf
contours and sound and the children copy with their own scarves. The teacher eventually asks for a volunteer to lead the others. (I suggest this happens in another session, but following a teacher
*Ribbons: Play with the ribbons in a similar way: up, down, round, zigzag, round and back, forward, behind –with the voice level but as soon as the ribbon moves up or down so does the voice
*Bird conversations: Using hand or finger puppets or cut outs on sticks to have ‘Birdish’ conversations. Teacher starts chatting to a child in Kookaburra the child laughs back … Call and
responses can get longer, shorter, higher or lower, louder or softer – or combinations as if you were having a dialogue. There is no right or wrong way to respond as long as you sound like a
Ghosts / Whales / Owls / Kookaburras / Galahs / Rosellas / Magpies / Macaws / Ducks / Chicks / Roosters / Hens / Horses Witches / Donkeys / Bees / Dolphins / Whales etc. Try conversations
with 2 the same creatures. Another time use 2 different creatures. All high pitched sounds will help you and the children find a singing voice and warm up.
*Stars: We can make the sounds of shooting stars and falling stars- back and forth before singing our known star songs- Twinkle Twinkle and Starlight Star Bright etc. with these finger
*Echo Mic: Using an echo mic to encourage solo singing. You can have musical conversations or copy me sessions with singing sounds. Solo singing experiences are essential for developing
in–tune singing. Call response songs allow for the leader to call and the group to respond. When the children know the song well they can volunteer to lead or respond individually or in pairs using
the echo mic helps them hear their own sound better and respond more tunefully.
*Yarn string or wool: Use a piece of string or wool to make a shape on the floor or on a table- follow the contour with your finger or voice and ask the children to copy. Change the shape
and repeat. Ask the children to maker shapes and lead us to follow the contour. Leave string out for play for children to do this themselves encouraging them to vocalise.
*Pipe Cleaners: Bend the pipe cleaner in different ways and the children follow the contour with their fingers andvoices. Invert the pipe cleaner- left to right- or up and down -does it
change the sound pattern? Place several in succession and track them making the appropriate sounds. Read left to right / right to left / etc.
*Bean bag catch: Toss beanbag in the air & catch it making sounds that follow it. Throw it higher/ lower/ drop it etc.
*Propeller on a stick/ spinner toys: Play with these launching the spinner making the sounds- glissando up
Telephone Ring: Use an old phone or toy phone and children make a ringing sound then have phone
conversations with you. Be sure they answer you in singing sounds not talking sounds.
*Kazoos: Using a kazoo make vocalization sounds. Sing, copy, improvise. When children are game they may like to take the
lead for everyone else to listen and copy. Remember hum into it don’t blow!
*Resonator bars: Use the resonator bars to give yourself a starting note- play an upward group of notes to help you find it- e.g. If your start note is F – play from C below up to F or if
your start note is high C play all the notes up to it to launch your ears and voice up to the high C.
*Spinning Bells: Spin the spinning bells and follow the sounds with your voices – upward glissandos or downward glissandos depending on which way the bells spin.
*Bell Trees or *wind chimes: Copy the sound of the bell tree or chimes up / down etc.
*Jack in the Box: Follow a Jack in the Box up and down with your voice.
Leaves, *Feathers, *Bubbles, *Parachutes: Things that float down or that you can toss high up and watch them float down. Play with these making the sounds that follow their movement…
*Wind Tubes: Spin the wind tubes and make the sound of the wind.
*Tuning Fork: Sound a tuning fork each day and you will start to hear the A- It will help you to find a sound that is a good high sound to sing in.
Beads on Wire Toy: Many centres have one of these- why not make the so\nds following the beads along their route as you play. Teacher demonstrates. Children try it. Leave it out as an
My Downloadable vocal starting notes: Free downloadable starting pitches in each key so you can hear it more easily as produced by a voice.