Teaching Harmony Singing to Beginners

Song Study Lesson Plan with Wolf in the Forest

Apr 9, 2021

Wolf in the Forest score 2

Singing Lesson Plan for Students 10 and under

We are thrilled to have partnered with Children’s composer Donna Rhodenizer here at FULL VOICE MUSIC. Her incredible new music does not only offer age-appropriate performance opportunities; she mindfully crafts engaging song studies for young singers offering endless teaching opportunities both in vocal technique and musicianship skills.

Voice lesson strategies for Wolf in the Forest

Piquing Interest
Learning a new song can be scary for our young singers, so start by piquing their interest with some fun facts about Wolves.
Teacher Tip: I like to ask students if they know any fun facts about their song’s topic, and this often lights up their faces as kiddos love to share knowledge.

So if you were curious about wolves:

  • Wolves are the largest members of the dog family.
  • Wolves are known for their hauntingly beautiful howls.
  • Wolves howl to communicate. If alone, a wolf may howl to attract the attention of his pack.
    Packs howl together to send territorial messages from one pack to another.
  • All wolves in a pack help raise and take care of the pups.
  • Wolves can roam large and long distances, sometimes up to 12 miles (20 kilometers)
    in a single day.

 

 

Use Warm-ups to prepare for learning the song.
Teachers can make lessons productive if we partner the lesson’s warm-up with the new song’s technical challenges. So, the vocal warm-up could include:

  • singing minor triads.
  • singing vocal slides up and down a perfect fifth (with and without solfege hand signs).
  • learning the howl melody at bars 11 to 14 and using this melody as the warm-up.
  • clapping/tapping the rhythmic pattern in bar 4.

Discovering the meaning of the text
Ask students to read the lyrics aloud. Discuss what the word mournful means. Why do you think the wolves are mournful? How can we sing expressively in this song? Students will be more successful at expressing the music if they understand the text.

Teaching the melody
The melody of Wolf in the Forest can be taught with a simple game of be my echo. Start with singing only 2 bars to the student (unaccompanied) and ask them to sing back. Don’t be discouraged if they need a few repetitions!

Active Listening
Let students listen to the piano track or play the accompaniment for them. What does the music make them think of? How does it make them feel? Can they tap the beat while listening to the music? Can they hear when the music changes tempo?

Vocal Technique
Ask students to explore different vowels for the wolf “howl.” Which vowel is easier? Practice the howl using other volumes. (Perhaps the wolf is far away or nearby!) Can singers sing 2 bars before taking a breath?

Composing
Ask students to compose their own ‘howl’ melody.