NEW Toolshed from Tiffany Hitchcock
As choir leaders, we want our children to always sing their best. We plan and prepare, but at some point we lost the attention of our singers during rehearsal. When we see eyes wandering, bodies fidgeting, hear yawns and sighs — what do we do?
Get up and move! Movement and engagement go hand in hand when children learn. Here are a few ways I give my choirs an energy boost for swift attention retrieval:
- Stop, Clap, and Stomp! Take a quick break from your rehearsal plan and stand for a rhythm challenge. Perform rhythm patterns using body percussion, and have children repeat them back to you. I like to mix new rhythms with rhythms from the songs we’re learning.
- Play a game! Play a singing or chanting game the children know and enjoy. Keep a store of games handy for times when your choir needs a change of pace. Activities from curriculum or folk song games are also great tools.
- Mix it up! Continue with the song you are rehearsing, but change your approach. Have children move around the room on the steady beat, clap the melody, or move freely to interpret the music while they sing.
- Go for the goal! Challenge your choir to work as a team to accomplish a specific task or goal. Reward their hard work with a special game or favorite activity. I like to use high-energy, competitive games as the incentive.
Implement these tips at any point in your rehearsal to help children get the “fidgets” out and to let excitement back in. Just a few minutes of movement can restore the energy and focus needed for a fruitful rehearsal.
FREE Movement Activity:
Download of a free PDF of “Head and Shoulders, Baby!” Energizer out of the Be Strong in the Lord Curriculum from Growing in Grace.
Head and Shoulders, Baby! Demonstration Recording
Head and Shoulders, Baby! Accompaniment Track