I'm a firm believer that singing is the key to good music education. All of my students sing, no matter what kind of lesson they sign up for. Piano kids sing, Little Flute students sing- everybody sings.
Here are 5 quick & easy ways to get your music kids singing.
Call & response: this can be a simple "Hello" sung to students that they answer back at the beginning of a lesson or a whole conversation back & forth. I like a descending minor 3rd for this (Sol - Mi)
Speak new rhythms: Hear me out- speaking in rhythm is the first step towards singing anyway. Anytime you introduce a new rhythmic concept, have students speak the rhythms. If there's an established system you like, use it. If you like to teach counting right off the bat, great. You can always let the students assign words to rhythms- my students particularly like breakfast foods!
Sing the note names: As students learn to read music I like to utilize more senses. Speaking the note names or singing the note names involves the brain in yet another way.
Teach solfege: Moveable Do is absolutely my favorite way to teach aural awareness. Little musicians will learn to hear intervals in their heads before they attempt to sing it and before they attempt to play. I honestly can't get enough of teaching solfege to young musicians.
Sing their favorite songs: When my students come into lessons asking for their current favorite song we immediately start singing. If I don't know the song I ask them to sing me the chorus and then we find it on YouTube. Little pianists figure out the main melody by ear. Usually we can even figure out a few chords.
Do you sing with your students?