Step Into Singing presents 12 lessons in vocal training that can be used by the entire family—and it is a great idea to involve the whole family in learning to sing together. The lessons are presented in a 60-page PDF book, and online video lessons are linked from the book. You can purchase a spiral-bound book, but the PDF makes it easiest to use the links to videos and other course features.
Sonja Hindmarsh teaches the lessons in one video per lesson, although some lessons link to additional videos. Throughout the lessons, Hindmarsh pauses to have students practice what she is teaching. Many lessons have links to music and soundtracks that students use to practice singing.
The content of Sonja’s videos is very similar to that in the book but not identical. The videos run longer and do a much better job of demonstrating and walking students through exercises. Every lesson includes a song for children to practice singing, beginning with “Happy Birthday” and “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” then progressing through songs such as “Over the Rainbow,” “Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht,” and “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.” Some of the music is religious as you might have noticed from those I have listed, but it’s also traditional music that might be in the repertoire of all singers.
The lessons address breathing, relaxation, types of voices and their ranges (tenor, bass, soprano, etc.), long and short notes, singing in rounds, body movement while singing, singing in different languages (German and Latin), learning solfege (do, re, mi, fa, etc.) as a tool for note reading, dynamics (forte, piano, crescendo, and decrescendo), diction, and the difference between head voice and chest voice.
Hindmarsh’s instructions on the videos are very easy to follow. The videos are not professionally produced, but they work fine for this course. The other videos linked from the lessons include “Kids Meet an Opera Singer,” “An Introduction to Opera’s Voice Types (The Royal Opera),” and “Alex Dmitrieff (basso profondo) - Alliluia - Russian Orthodox Male Choir of Australia.”
At the back of the book are a glossary and printable song sheets (with music and lyrics) for all the songs.
Step Into Singing is a relatively inexpensive way to begin vocal training. Its combination of instruction, exercises, and singing practice should be perfect for homeschooling families.