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Q&A with singing coaches,TV presenters and children's book authors Carrie and David Grant. Post a question about getting children involved in music.- ANSWERS BACK

(66 Posts)
LaraMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 06-Jun-13 11:01:18

There's still time to apply for one of 50 copies of Carrie and David Grant's Lion's Speedy Sauce. Apply before 10am on Wednesday 12th June.

We're delighted that Carrie and David are joining us this week for a Q&A about children and music. Carrie and David are two of the best known pop vocal coaches in the UK (having coached Take That and The Spice Girls amongst others) and many will recognise them from the likes of Fame Academy, The One Show and Cbeebies  Carrie and Davids Popshop!  Parents to four children, they are passionate about getting all children to sing.  They are ambassadors for Sing Up, a singing programme going to every school in England, and they believe that children of every age should be given the tools to enjoy and feel confident about music. Their new picture book series, Jump Up and Join In, is a fun and interactive way of introducing pre-schoolers to music.

Post a question to Carrie and David before the end of Monday 17th June and we'll be linking to their answers on 24th June.
More about Jump Up and Join In
Anyone with a baby or toddler will have noticed how positively they respond to music and how engaged they can be listening to songs, even from the earliest of ages.  The six book series features a colourful cast of characters including Lion, Elephant and Meerkat and each story focuses on a different aspect of music. For example,Lions Speedy Sauce is all about rhythm and other areas of music covered include loud and soft, breathing and confidence.   Each book comes with a CD that includes an introduction to the book, the story, an original song, two music activities and a karaoke track.  Get your pretend microphone at the ready  and your dancing shoes on! 

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 12-Jun-13 12:41:06

The book giveaway has now closed and we've emailed those who will receive a free ocpy to Jump Up and Join In.

Do post your questions to David and Carrie before the end of Monday 17th June.

gazzalw Wed 12-Jun-13 13:53:18

Hi David and Carrie

Firstly, DD used to love your Popshop on CBeebies! Fond memories!

Although we are not a musical family per se, DW and I have always exposed the children to a lot of singing, musicals and different music types. We have a 7 year old DD and a 12 year old DS. DD loves singing and is coming on in leaps and bounds (and has a very good ear for picking up lyrics and tunes). DS has a lovely voice (and he too can remember lyrics very easily) but will rarely use it in public. We thought that once he attended his boys-only secondary school he might be keen to join the choir etc.... (without the stigma of choir being seen as a girls' option) but alas no. Is there any way to energise DS to discover his 'voice'? I personally think that singing can raise serotonin levels and really lift one's spirit. Something, I would have thought, which is vital for teenagers.

Many thanks.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 12-Jun-13 15:37:29

Hi David and Carrie.

My dd is 9 plays several instruments and loves singing. She has done a few singing exams, sings in choirs and has won local competitions.
Is it true that at her age she shouldn't be receiving vocal coaching/ lessons. There is so much conflicting info out there, and there are several threads on here about it too. Also I know others would like to know as well. What makes a good singing teacher, what should we be looking for, and where do we find a good teacher? It does seem much harder than finding an instrumental teacher, as so many profess to be able to teach/sing themselves.

Many thanks.

DowntonTrout Wed 12-Jun-13 19:04:06

Hello David and Carrie,

My DD is 11 and has been singing since the age of 6. She had, what I believe to be, very good vocal training for 5 years with a teacher who was very keen that she did not push her voice by "belting out" big musical numbers. She concentrated on a more classical theme with her singing, sang in a choral society choir and has taken exams up to grade 4.

She is now in a full time theatre school and I am starting to become concerned about the vocal training there. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure they know what they are doing, but it goes very much against the way she has been trained so far. I worry that it will damage her voice. She has a very clean, clear tone and had just started singing the soprano parts in choir, before she came to this school. My concern is that they are encouraging her to push her voice in the lower register and not teaching them how to support their voices correctly.

She does not really have a musical theatre voice, although she can put one on. I would prefer to keep her on a more classical route. Do you think in the long term that the classical training is the way to go ? (they always seem to shudder a bit when they say "musical theatre" on The Voice.)


brainexplosion Wed 12-Jun-13 21:46:08

DH and I are both professional musicians and have been appalled by the lack of music in our local primary school. I have volunteered, taught, given Sing Up magazines out, arranged concerts involving the whole school, but STILL the head thinks music is a waste of time. All these things I do are well attended by the parents. Do you have any tips for engaging an un-interested head teacher? We took our two children out of the school in the end, but I still teach and volunteer there as I feel challenged to try and make a difference!!

scrappydappydoo Wed 12-Jun-13 23:06:58

I have to know - how on earth do you dance in those heels you wear on 'popshop'. Seriously I am in awe especially with the jumping grin

lisad123everybodydancenow Wed 12-Jun-13 23:47:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Coppernob Thu 13-Jun-13 09:51:57

Is there an optimum age at which you know whether a child is going to be able to sing in tune or not? My 3 year old granddaughter loves singing but improvises a fair bit with the tunes. Is there any way of encouraging singing in tune? My brother was teased mercilessly at school for being tone deaf and I would hate the same thing to happen to my granddaughter.

DeWe Thu 13-Jun-13 10:07:19

Dd1 is 12yo and has been having singing lessons for 3 years and has passed her grade 5. She has a lovely tuneful voice, and has done quite a bit of solo work in both musicals and choir. But she hasn't developped that depth to her voice that you hear soloists with, it's still quite thin as a sound. Is that something that will come with time, or can you suggest any way of working at that.

PassTheTwiglets Thu 13-Jun-13 11:56:30

My DD is a dreadful singer - really tone-deaf and she can't hear that she sounds so out of tune. She thinks she's a brilliant signer and I don't like to burst her bubble sad Would singing lessons be able to teach someone to sing in tune or is this ability something you are born with or not? Thanks!

ReallyTired Thu 13-Jun-13 13:51:50

My son sings in a church choir. He is a very keen choister and doing well with the Royal School of Church music training scheme. Should he carry on singing when his voice starts to change?

Bonsoir Thu 13-Jun-13 17:02:15

DD is 8 and a half. She did quite a bit of choral singing at school up until this year (Y4), when she opted out of Singing Club because it clashed with her Music Theory class, which was not an option when she took up weekly piano lessons.

Her previous singing teacher always used to say to me "You should do something with that voice" and it is true that she has a pretty singing voice. She will have weekly choral singing again, as part of the school curriculum, in Y5 and Y6. Should I leave it at that for now, or would one-to-one singing lessons be of any value? When she practices piano I sing along and she loves the idea of playing and singing together one day (à la Regina Spector).

Jux Thu 13-Jun-13 17:46:26

I'm delighted that you're doing Sing Up. Music has been neglected in schools for far too long, in favour of sports. my dd's primary school ahd no music at all despite a well equipped studio as the HT said it distracted other classes. However, there were 10 extra-curricular sports clubs, and the only non-sport extra-curricular activity was gardening.

My dd has a beautiful voice, tuneful, rich, and accurate. She has joined the Chamber Choir at her secondary school, but they sing pop songs. Harmony is restricted to a bit of backing vocals to a soloist on one verse. There is no challenge to it, but apparently it is like that because if they were to sing actual Chamber music no one would want to do it hmm, that's what the music teacher said.

Our local church choir has about 12 women and 2 men, so they sing hymns with descants but go no further. DD has sung with them since she was 7.

Any other choirs nearby are for adults, and won't consider a girl of 13, though dd has written to all of them asking. I am in despair as to what I can do to give her more experience and the type of singing she actually wants to do.

Jux Thu 13-Jun-13 18:01:52

Oh sorry! My question: aside from moving, do you have any ideas of what I can do to broaden her musical experience?

sunnysunchild Fri 14-Jun-13 18:58:18

Hi we are a normal uk family with no extra money for special music lessons, vocal coaching, instrument tuition, extra music clubs or classes. My kids are 7, 5 and 1, I love to hear my kids singing, and in my opinion the big two have lovely wee voices. Me and their dad can hit the notes too, although we are not singers! Can you recommend any music , classic or pop or otherwise that we can all listen to in the car or at home, that will get us all singing together? We do lots of driving holidays and I like the thought of us all singing along to something, but I have no idea where to start smile

Thank you!

EvilTwins Sun 16-Jun-13 18:46:32

I'm a school drama teacher and we're doing the school version of Les Mis for our production next year. I have 5 hour-long sessions with our lead actors to prepare them before we start rehearsing with the others. What do you think I should focus on? I do have a singing background, btw, but have never coached young singers myself. Thanks.

cavylover Mon 17-Jun-13 18:50:39

Thanks for the Lion's Speedy Sauce book. It's a great introduction to music for young boys and girls in the 3-7 age range with lovely colourful illustrations and story with CD making learning fun. It even tells children how to make bongos and there's a lovely singalong song too!

tinypumpkin Mon 17-Jun-13 19:58:00

I read Lion's Speedy Sauce with DD2 today (3 1/2) and she liked the story a lot. She did also like the CD although not the lion roaring so we couldn't listen to the audio of the story again as there was too much roaring!

I really liked the illustrations and the sing a long. Very catchy, I may regret that later smile I felt the story could have been developed a little more but perhaps that is just me expecting too much!

Thank you for the book and CD, it will be read /listened to many times I'm sure.

NoWomanNoCry Mon 17-Jun-13 21:19:15

Thank you for the free copy, we received it today. My children absolutely love 'Popshop' so they were so excited to get this book. We read the story on its own first which was ok. But then we put on the CD which was far better and the children were getting involved in the activities. Probably wasn't the best idea to play the CD just before bedtime!

eteo Tue 18-Jun-13 00:44:18

It was their first time using an audio book and they both loved listening to the story while following along in the book. The first track of the CD is the opening theme tune - Jump Up And Join In. It was very welcome and the children were instantly excited. After the intro, Carrie and David narrates the story about Lion, who finds an edible solution to keeping in time and rhythm.

I rate this book 5 stars out of 5. I would highly recommend this book to anyone. It encourages children to be active and practise clapping with rhythm. In the last section of the book, they teach you how to make your own Bangin' Bongos. This book is not only fun, simple and enjoyable with great illustrations, it has great content.

Note, I would suggest that this book is not suitable to read at bedtime as it requires lots of actions.

MissStrawberry Tue 18-Jun-13 10:03:37

My son read the book this morning and he loved it, said he wants to read it again and would like to read more in the series. On that basis 5/5.

countingdown Tue 18-Jun-13 17:12:08

Thank you so much for sending me a copy of this book. My children (ages 3 and 5) really enjoyed it. Visually it is very appealing, and my children loved listening to the story on the CD. As a first read, they were only interested in the story, but we will definitely go back to it so they can join in with the physical, musical parts. My little boy is desperate to make his own bongos - we will save that up for a rainy day.

Thanks again, I am sure this is a book which we will revisit lots.

MakeTeaNotWar Wed 19-Jun-13 07:15:26

Thank you so much for our copy of the book - my almost 3 year old and I read it over and over again yesterday afternoon! For her, the best bit was singing the scales at the end and also the clapping practise that we both did. She also loved trying to turn the pages in time with the lion roar. I loved the illustrations, so colourful and cute. Loved it, would recommend

TotallyEggFlipped Wed 19-Jun-13 16:00:51

Thanks for the book. DD really enjoyed the story, but loved the song at the end & dancing around to the music. I can see her enjoyment of the book & CD growing with her as she gets a bit older too. We will definitely be getting a lot of use from this book
The illustrations are fantastic. DD thought turning the pages when the lion roared was great fun.
I think this is a fantastic concept and will have no hesitation in recommending it to friends with young children.

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