Reply To: Elementary Choir Repertoire
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K-2 voices really should not be stretched as in a typical elementary school choir. Repertoire for these students should be kept to an octave or less and be fun. You should emphasize beginning singing technique – breathing, standing still (hard for this age). Plus you would have to teach songs by rote – echo – as the K and 1s probably can’t read too well.
For grades 3 + go for folk songs, always safe. The former MENC put out two books of amazing folk songs called “Get America Singing” and “Get America Singing … Again”. Warm-ups should be fun: 5-note scales with silly words that still hit vowels. Some examples my Elem Choir loves are “Mommy made me mash my M n Ms”, Zany Zealous zebras at the zoo. For a brain exercise we occasionally do numbers: 1 121 12321 1234321 123454321 12345654321 1234567654321 123456787654321. These are of course pitches in the scale. You could also do this in solfege, if that is easier or clearer for your kids. After that we do roller coasters: a sigh from low up to the head voice and back down a couple times. I have them watch my hand; sometimes I start from the top. Before vocal warm-ups we stretch: a couple deep breaths imagining our lungs getting wider (not taller, as is common when people take quick deep breaths).