How Do You Get Kids to Sing?
group magazine: March, 1992
From: March 1992 GROUP Publishing Magazine
Keywords: Survey Results Singing
How Do You Get Kids to Sing?
Some kids hate to sing. It's like you're asking them to floss with barbed wire. That's why most youth leaders would love to know how to better involve kids in group singing. So GROUP asked youth workers to reveal their secrets to singing success. Here's what they said.
MAKE A JOYFUL NOISE
When asked if singing is a part of their youth group activities, leaders said:
A SONG IN OUR HEARTS
When asked if singing is an important part of youth work, leaders said:
Strongly agree 75%
NOW EVERYBODY SING!
Knowing how to get kids to sing is a challenge. When asked if they needed help in getting their group members to sing, leaders said:
Strongly agree 32%
No response 14%
HOW TO MOTIVATE KIDS TO SING
Those youth leaders whose youth group activities "always" or "sometimes" involve singing motivate their kids with these techniques:
*"We have an atmosphere of expectation with a quality worship leader."
*"We explain the importance of praise to God. And a couple of people can usually ‘peer pressure' the rest to sing."
*"We use overheads with words to songs, lively music and an overhead that has Bible verses exhorting us to sing."
*"We sing even if they all don't sing along, or we have leaders stand next to them and help them out."
*"I bring my guitar; they pick the songs from a songsheet. Some are fun and some are more serious."
*"We have a youth and leaders band; the youth lead in singing exciting, upbeat, worshipful songs."
*"The best way is through strong leadership; it's important to provide words and music."
*"Let them sing fun songs. Instill a purpose in singing: To praise God and uplift each other."
*"We make sure we have people leading who know how to sing!"
*"Tell the truth-God is worthy to be praised. Let's give him what he deserves."
*"Use accessories such as overheads, keyboard, guitar. Don't be preoccupied with yourself when you lead!"
*"We use songs with crazy motions to get them physically involved."
WHY WON'T KIDS SING?
For groups who "rarely" or "never" sing during youth group activities, these things silence their kids:
*"Kids are embarrassed about voice changes."
*"I've yet to find music they connect with."
*"We don't have an accompanist; I should learn the guitar-but when?"
*"It's not cool and we don't have songbooks."
*"Are you kidding? Singing is weird and uncool. Somebody might hear me!"
See if these musical nightmares sound familiar:
*"On a hayride, no one could agree on songs. So only the counselors really sang."
*"Our youth group agreed to sing at church. I was the only one who could be heard. The congregation called us ‘Sherri and her back-up singers.' "
*"The youth choir was supposed to sing for the prelude. Three kids went away for the weekend without telling anyone. Everyone else was mad and too embarrassed to sing."
*"I've recently moved. Not realizing the words differed regionally, I led a solo in a youth-parent devotion..."
*"We planned a sing-along night, and no one sang along."
*"I tried to teach my group a new scripture song. I had them looking at the Bible for the words. One of my adult sponsors couldn't find the words and proceeded to tell the whole group about it-during the middle of the song!"
Copyright© 1992 Group Publishing, Inc. / GROUP Magazine