Singing is a taught skill like any other and except for some physiological variations in a miniscule percentage of the population, we are all born with the capacity to sing in tune.  Now, some children, who are raised in a singing household or exposed to good musical experiences early on, develop a singing voice along with all the other imitative skills.  Others arrive in the music classroom without having discovered their singing voices at all.   

Here are some ways to help the younger children in your home or classroom find and keep an in-tune singing voice*

  • Surround them with singing everyday
  • Sing to them and with them
  • Choose songs that are appropriate for their age and stage
  • Children’s singing voices are between D and D’. 

If songs are set too low, they will try to use a speaking voice to sing.

  • Have them explore their vocal range by making siren sounds and owl sounds.
  • Help them to feel the difference between a speaking and a singing voice by practising: “This is my speaking voice.”


  • Encourage them to sing lightly, softly. Loud singing results in a chest voice or a talking voice.
  • Play games that involve echo-singing and encourage pitch matching. 

*The younger we begin to sing, the easier it is to develop a tuneful singing voice; later, it is much harder to break the old habits, but it is still possible with time.

​Suggested Resources and activities

By Susan Searle

Finding a Singing Voice

I don’t know how many times I’ve been told, as a Music teacher, “My child can’t  sing.”  or “No-one in our family can sing; we’re all tone deaf!”  or something along those lines, to which I’m glad to reply that all that is about to change and their child will indeed be able to sing!

The Birdie, Birdie game, (explained in the book: Birdie, Birdie where is your nest?) is a wonderful opportunity for students to sing a solo.