Find your natural
voice and maintain it!
|Vocal Tip of the Month!
|Silence is Golden!
The fact that silence is needed to promote healthy vocal habits is not
paradox. Where there is noise, there should be silence and vice versa.
Balance between noise and silence should make for an important
part of your
teaching strategies or singing behaviour, up to various degrees.
For example, as much as we tend to encourage students to freely express
themselves, they must also be aware of when it is or isn't acceptable.
That seems pretty obvious even though we tend to forget from time to
time. Most importantly, we neglect to teach students how to do exactly
that. Purposeful silence is a skill that must be taught with
self-control in the same way kids develop their language skills. Demand
complete silence when you or another student is addressing the class. Do
not tolerate any noise whatsoever coming from pencils, erasers, balancing
chairs, moving hands and legs, chatting students, etc. Being strict
about it pays off in the long run by increasing student's ability to
concentrate, assimilate new knowledge, better focus on the activity at
hand and preventing you from raising the volume of your voice unnecessarily.
If you lost your voice after a cold or misusing your voice and suffer
vocal fatigue, the most effective remedy might just be to observe a
full day of
silence to allow your vocal cords to rest. Carry a notebook
you to communicate your needs to your family and friends instead of
them out as usual. Again, it's all about balance, here going from
extreme to the other. Many professional singers do stop talking
completely as a preventive measure on the day of a performance or after
if they feel tired. It can be a very effective way to recharge
batteries. If you are experiencing vocal fatigue on a regular
take the time to look into proper vocal placement or other possible
reasons for the fatigue. Otherwise further health complications
ensue. So in other words, silence should compliment your vocal
without being viewed as a quick band-aid solution!
I will tell you more about how to teach students silence, self-control and
correct vocal placement in my upcoming book. Stay tuned!
noise usually measures at around 85 dB while around 30 dB is recommended for a
positive working environment. Insulating your classroom to diminish noise
reverberation can make a difference in your student's ability to concentrate,
hear what you say and in how loud you have to speak to be heard over the class.
Here is how you can do that:
1) Use tennis balls or felt pads on chair legs.
2) Create more than one carpet area in your classroom.
3) If the opportunity presents itself, opt for draperies instead of blinds
for window covering treatments.
4) Add cork bulletin walls to your classroom.
5) Display student work on your wall.
|Celebrate the 13th
on April 16, 2008! Discuss with your students why
silence is important in a classroom environment. Encourage them
to write a journal entry on how silence affect their lives or encourage
them to create posters on noise pollution and on how it can be
prevented. Another idea would be to measure noise levels in
different areas of your school.
Join thousands of schools in promoting noise awareness by observing a full minute of silence between 2:15 and 2:16 p.m. regardless of your location on April 16th, 2008.
Make sure to tell your principal and other teachers at your
school about the event to get as many students and staff involved as
possible! Visit The League for the Hard of Hearing website for more details.
Yourself in the Classroom
|Inspiring Quotes and Stories...
not use a quiet time as an opportunity to reflect and meditate on a
subject? When my students are overexcited after recess or if I
encourage them to concentrate before a class presentation, I lead them
in an impromptu meditation. I invite them to close their
eyes and to
visualise different scenarios that I feel might be helpful to their
that specific moment in time. It lasts about 3 minutes and it is
by a group sharing of what they imagined while their eyes were closed.
gives them great self-confidence and allows them to refresh their mind
ready to work. They don't know that they are actually meditating
preconceived ideas about meditation are avoided. It's just a way
and calm down to gather positive energy before putting further efforts
The same strategies can be applied to silently rehearse a song,
stress and emotional turmoil, find solutions to problems or simply to
oneself quickly. Have a happy quiet time now!