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Teaching Kids to Sing Volumes 1 and 2 Review by Whitney Dunahee

Chris and Carole Beatty
PO Box 2144
Brentwood, TN 37024

Teaching Kids to Sing Volumes 1 and 2 is a set of two DVDs plus a CD of accompaniment tracks taught by vocal coaches Chris and Carole Beatty. The Beattys are seen working with a choir of children ages 5-13. The DVDs feature interactive lessons that the viewer can participate in at home. Volume 1 is titled "Building Foundations that Last," and it covers the topics of posture, breathing, tone, and the importance of warm-up exercises. For each section there are phrases that help the children remember the technique. For example, the posture section uses the following two phrases to teach children to stand straight and tall: "I want the top of my head to be as far away from the floor as possible" and "My body is led by the top of my head." There are also songs that go along with each topic. The songs have a Christian theme, and lyrics for the songs are included inside the DVD case. Volume 2, titled "Essential Skills for Growing Voices," covers the topics of rhythm, diction, and dynamics. Children are also taught musical terms like "staccato" and "legato." There is review of basic principles that were covered in Volume 1. Many warm-up exercises are included. Each song and warm up exercise is on the accompaniment CD twice, once with vocals and once with music only.

Teaching Kids to Sing is a good resource for anyone interested in improving his or her vocal technique. It is not only singers who will benefit from the material. Many of the lessons, especially in Volume One, could also be valuable to public speakers. The lessons are clearly presented, well organized, and immediately applicable to the students' singing efforts. The Beattys' enthusiasm for singing makes these DVDs fun to watch.

Product review by Whitney Dunahee, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January 2011