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SONGS AND SPARKLERS
Songs..Songs..And More Songs!!
Why songs? Remember the great times singing those songs in school or that song that rumbled the rafters at church? The feeling after these songs really lifted the spirits. Singing is fun! Songs can create enthusiasm or set a mood.
To be a successful song leader, all that is required are a few tips about how to lead songs. Voice?
A song leader must break the ice, particularly with a new group. Do things that will break down the reserve and get everyone into the group spirit. At the beginning of the first song period, announce that the group will do things together. Ask a Cub Scout to stand in front of the group and throw his neckerchief into the air and then catch it. Have him do this several times. Tell the group that they can yell as long as the neckerchief is in the air, but must stop instantly when the neckerchief is caught. Suggest such words as "yip-pee, wahoo, Akela, Wolf, Bear, Webelos" etc. Everyone should yell something.
1.Begin with a song that everyone knows. Announce the name and the tune (if it isn't an original song).
2.Sing the first few bars, or sing the entire song. This will give the pitch and the proper tempo. If there is a piano and a pianist or a recording of the song, use them to teach the song.
3.Then start the song. How? Tell the group to begin singing after the first few words, then signal, such as a simple down motion with the hands is given.
4.What about hand motions? Start with simple up and down motions. Then use these motions to keep time with the rhythm and the syllables of the words as they are sung. The movement of the hands should indicate those notes that are to be prolonged or quickened. In the same way, raise or lower the hands to regulate the volume. Get into the proper swing and rhythm. Put some personality and pep into it. Put the entire body into song leading.
5.Insist on quality, not volume. Expect everyone to sing.
6.Use songs that fit the occasion. Start with lively songs and end the program with something inspirational.
7.Songs should be taught in the weekly den meeting, using songbooks only until the words are learned.
8.If the first song doesn't measure up to expectations, "kid" the group along. Don't reprimand! For instance, try some competition. Put dens one and two against dens three and four...or boys against parents..or moms against dads. Use only one short song to get everyone into the proper spirit.
9.In small groups, someone can often begin a song and everyone joins in naturally without formal leadership.
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