Teaching a Child How to Sing in a Foreign Language

by on October 12th, 2010
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When I was a young girl, I learned to sing Christmas carols in Swedish. I began to learn the songs at age three, and continued to learn more songs throughout my childhood. This experience not only heightened my interest in music but in my culture as well. Learning to sing in another language was rarely a chore, as my teachers made my lessons fun and interesting. Here is a look at five ways that make teaching children to sing in a different language both easy and fun.

Read the Lyrics Aloud

Prior to singing the song with your child, you should first speak the words. Take the song lyrics in small segments, and allow your child to master the words before singing them. Phonetic pronunciations can prove to be extremely helpful. The key to keeping your child interested is not just having them read the phonetic pronunciation out loud, but saying it with them in a light-hearted manner. Keep it fun, and you won’t lose your child’s interest.

Explain the Meaning of the Song

Although it is not necessary, you may find that your child is much more interested in learning a song in another language if they understand what it is that they are singing. Explaining what the song lyrics mean allows your young musician to connect with the song that they are performing.

Set the Words to Music

Once you’ve mastered pronunciation, you can begin singing the tune. Start off slow and pick up speed after a few tries. Singing a capella is often harder than singing along to music, so include the instrumental portion of the song too. Now that you child understands what he is singing and has a better grasp on the phonetic pronunciation, he will begin to build confidence in performing a piece in a foreign language.

Sing Along

Don’t just let your child sing the song alone. Sing Along! This can be a great way for the two of you to connect through music. Singing a song from a foreign language is certainly a challenge, but not an impossible one. I am thankful that I was taught to sing in a foreign language at such a young age. To this day, I still enjoy the same songs from my childhood and I have passed them on to my children.

More from this Contributor:

31st Anniversary of John Lennon’s Death: Seven of the Very Best Lennon Songs

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