Zimfira Poloz Workshop © David J. Preston

The best way of teaching young children how to sing

Tips on training child voices from vocal pedagogy expert Zimfira Poloz

World Choir Council

Zimfira Poloz is a globally recognized expert in choral artistry for young voices. She is the Artistic Director of the Hamilton Children’s Choir and teaches Voice Pedagogy for young singers at the University of Toronto.

During her childhood in Russia, she recounts, she was labeled as “not having musical abilities” and was not accepted into the art school she had applied to, having to attend instead a regular music school.

Her own experience led her to study child voices and teaching approaches, in the belief that, in reality, everyone who has a voice can sing.

“If you can move, you can dance; if you can speak, you can sing”, she asserts in reference to the famous proverb from Zimbabwe. “It is easy to label a child, they all however have the ability [to sing]. Sometimes the voice is just hiding – this stage in a child’s life is about building their future.” Poloz remarks that it is precisely in this crucial phase that children should be looked after and have access to the best education.

After 36 years of experience in two different parts of the world, she continues training young voices and further exploring her teaching approaches.

Voice Pedagogy for Young Choirs

Zimfira Poloz’ specialization - vocal pedagogy - studies the art and science of voice instruction, exploring what singing is and how it works.

Poloz believes  in particular that teaching our young singers to sing efficiently should be our first goal and it should have a triple focus:

  • Building young singers’ vocal techniques
  • Correcting common vocal issues
  • Helping singers to protect their instrument from unhealthy vocal habits

In the video below, Poloz illustrates her main learning styles and approaches and shares interesting tips on how to teach young children all aspects of singing and vocal training.

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