Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Making Music Live: A Guide to Weaving Music into Faith Development Programs

Chapter 3: Four Simple Guidelines for Great Singing

Book cover for Sing and Shine On by Nick Page.

(From The Nick Page Sing with Us Songbook, based on Sing and Shine On! An Innovative Guide to Leading Multicultural Song)

I have been leading songs to all ages for many years. I encounter non-singers, inexperienced singers, singers who haven't learned how to sing in tune (everyone can learn), and people who simply hate to sing. I have developed simple tricks to help them on their way. They work with all ages. Children are always more receptive to singing than adults. Something happens, particularly with males, when puberty sets in. The voice changes and something that used to be fun suddenly becomes awkward. Adolescence is also a time of rollercoaster emotions. Singing is, in part, the act of vocalizing one's emotions. Adolescence is an age when letting out one's emotions is a risky thing. The challenge for the song leader, both with adolescents and adults, is to make singing emotionally acceptable. The following guidelines work with all ages and are intended for all song leaders, whether they be non-musicians or seasoned pros.