One of my daughters is extremely interested in singing. We all are as a family, but she has made claims regarding a future career in singing which includes hearing her songs on the radio. And yet, we have no music or vocal instruction going on in our home.
To be honest I cannot quite bring myself to spend the money on the “extras” very often for our kids. It is just so expensive! And it takes up a lot of time, driving around, practicing, finding all the accoutrement for whatever passion we are pursuing at the time.
We homeschool by choice and are kind of homebodies by nature. But I want to be able to share music education with my kids. So, I was so excited when I found out about “Singing Made Easy.” To be real, I am kind of over-the-moon about it. Now my entire family can get genuine expert vocal training at home!
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I am genuinely so excited to share this with you that I can barely contain myself. So I will try to lay out everything in an orderly fashion whilst keeping my enthusiasm on simmer. Please excuse me if I can’t contain myself. And be sure to read all the way to the bottom to see our 3-year-old’s testimonial of the program.
I regularly share our “extras” for our Gathering here. So, I thought it would be fun, in the midst of my series about Homeschool Planning to share one of our favorite new extras for our homeschool: “Singing Made Easy.”
What is “Singing Made Easy?”
“Singing Made Easy” is a supplemental vocal coaching curriculum for all ages and experiences of singers. It was put together by Marica McCarry, who was a vocalist and music teacher. She is also the mother of Andrew Pudewa, founder of the Institute for Excellence in Writing.
I know this sounds like a fangirl, but the moment I heard it was Andrew Pudewa’s mom who had created this curriculum, I knew I would want to check it out. His lectures, including many anecdotes about his musical studies, are so enlightening and interesting. An introduction to his mom was something I was definitely interested in.
If you read closely those sentences about Mrs. McCarry, you may have noticed I spoke about her in the past tense. And that is because she has passed away. But Mr. Pudewa asked Gena Mayo of Music in our Homeschool to carry on the work his mother started years ago. The program is entirely hers – she even sings the mp3s. Gena just hosts it on her easy to use site for others to enjoy.
Specifics about “Singing Made Easy”
- The program has 5 levels, and a bonus level “Christmas Carols made Easy”. Levels 1, 2, 3 and now 4 are available. The rest of the levels will be made available in 2021.
- Students of all ages will learn eleven songs in Level 1 of “Singing Made Easy,” ten in Level 2, and another 12 in Level 3! The program includes mp3s of each song, as well as instrumental versions to sing along to.
- Foundational singing concepts for each song. I just love the way Mrs. McCarry simply describes musical concepts. In lesson 1 she discusses staccato and legato beautifully without sounding too technical.
- Correct technique – the descriptions of how to breathe, prepare, and sing are easy to follow.
What else is included?
- Coloring Sheets (one for each song) – we enjoyed looking at the coloring sheets and trying to “name that tune” based on the pictures!
- Piano Accompaniment sheet music – I am learning to play the piano right now, so this is super exciting for me!
- The Friendly Staff to learn the lines and spaces of the treble and bass clefs – I need a brush up on this and my kids love working on this, too!
Two options for trying out “Singing Made Easy”
- Try out the FREE preview lesson, for “Johnny With the Bandy Legs”. OR
- Grab any available level today! Or grab the Level 4 now during the launch! Get a big discount of 30% when you use coupon code: SINGLEVEL4 I was expecting the price of this program to me much higher. The value in this program is high, as the price is much lower than a month of private lessons.
What makes “Singing Made Easy” special?
Relaxation is the method
I have absolutely no vocal training – not unless you count singing along to a Fisher Price record player to the “oldies” when I was a kid. But I love to sing – love it! I was discouraged from it when I was younger by some comments about my singing too loudly along to Van Morrison in the backseat.
Still I want my kids to not only love singing, but to know how to sing. One of my daughters says she is going to be a famous singer some day. Never mind she will not sing in front of even the closest of family without a great deal of reluctance. But now I can learn to sing alongside her!
When Mrs. McCarry explained in the introduction to her program that singing is all about relaxation, it somehow demystified the mystery of singing well. She also talked about almost anyone having the ability to “carry a tune” if she can match pitches and relax.
It is hard to not have fun while singing
I have talked about it almost too many times to mention again, but we are a singing homeschool. Although we may not sing well, we LOVE to sing. Our homeschool often resembles a musical with songs being sung at truly random times.
And what makes singing so special for us is it is hard to be unhappy and sing. The connection between relaxation and singing must form a triangle with contentment or something. Singing just simply brings smiles to our faces, even on rough days.
“The Singing Made Easy” Works!
If I am not a singer, I am definitely not a judge of singing. But I have noticed improvement in my kids who participated in the first lesson of “Singing Made Easy” in just one day.
My kids loved practicing the stretching and breathing exercises, as well as the vocal warm-ups. Then they loved singing “Hot Cross Buns” together…and then for the rest of the day at completely random times. But it wasn’t just that they wanted to be silly singing (as is so often the case). I noticed they were singing with the new techniques!
Even my oldest, who refused to participate in anything other than the relaxation exercises (because she “already likes her singing voice”) noticed my youngest’s improvement.
I included a short video of my 3-year-old singing her “poems” as she does every day. Besides the fact that she is adorable, we noticed she stood still, sang more clearly, and held notes in a more musical way. It is a sort of before-and-after for the first lesson (first day) of “Singing Made Easy.” We were definitely impressed!