Finding the Head Voice

I picked up a great idea from John Feierabend’s workshop at FMEA.  He uses a simple slide whistle to help children find their head voice.  I bought one for $15.oo at it’s been the best $15 I’ve spent all year. 🙂

For my purposes it went something like this:

Students, look at this instrument I’m holding.  Have you seen anything like it before?  This is a slide whistle and this is how it works. (Insert how a slide whistle works). Listening INSIDE your head what kind of sound do you think the slide whistle will make if I do this with the slide?  (I moved the slide from the middle to the lowest position).  Now, I will play this and I want you to tell me if it matched what you heard. (the children all laugh and we do some more examples).  Alright students, I know that you really want to play this slide whistle but there’s a problem, it’s been in my mouth and I don’t think you want to use it after me and ALL of your classmates! (insert a chorus of “Eeeew’s”).  The good news is that your voice can sound just like a slide whistle!  Can you make your voice sound like this?”

I then make a few sounds that the class recreates.  Then I go individually.  I used John Feierabend’s idea of if a child doesn’t want to do it we just move on and don’t dwell.  Eventually the child will take a turn on their own.

This worked very well for the students in my classroom and was a great little warm-up before we started learning a new cannon to sing.

Have any of you used John. Feierabend’s materials in your classroom? How have they worked?  Please comment below!

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