High Hopes

Pictured from left to right: Ava C., Lainey R., Gavin C., Eli G., and Aleah D.


It’s always interesting to return to school after the Winter Break. My students seem to grow and change so much over that two week period. Along with observing their physical changes, the teachers and I are also evaluating other areas of growth.

At the beginning of the school year, all teachers conducted assessments to measure student knowledge. Then, we set academic goals for each child to reach by the end of the school year. We are now conducting mid-year assessments to evaluate the students’ progress toward that goal.

While classroom teachers are focused on measuring growth in ELA and math, I am conducting an assessment with kindergarten this week based on vocal technique. In this assessment, I am looking to see if students are able to sing on pitch and with a “head voice”. A head voice refers to a specific vocal range where the singer will feel the vibration more in the sinus cavity. However, many students will attempt to sing with a “chest voice”. This register is lower and is similar to what we use while speaking. In order to evaluate each voice, the students have to sing alone. Many may find this daunting, but the students have been eager to sing as I am using a game based format.

It’s been exciting to see the progress that has been made so far this year. While many are singing in the correct vocal range, the students will need further work on singing accurately on pitch. However, I have every belief that my kindergarten students will develop this ability by the end of the school year. As Frank Sinatra sang, I have “high hopes… apple pie, in the sky hopes” as it comes to the musical aptitude of my students.

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