Around here, the last Friday of the month usually means one thing: it’s Karaoke Friday!
What is Karaoke Friday?
An entire period dedicated to taking turns performing karaoke instead of our usual theory, technique, and repertoire. I make a sign-up list with ten spots on the board and students have the option of performing solo or in a small group. They can choose any song they want, as long as it’s school appropriate.
Check out the short clip below of an example of a group performance during one of my classes.
I set-up clear expectations for Karaoke, and provide reasoning so that students understand why we do things a certain way..
1. Students may have snacks/food/ drinks at their seats.
This is the only time I allow them to have anything other than water.
2. Students must sit in the their assigned seats, and may only get up to throw away trash in between songs, AFTER they have raised their hand to ask permission.
They need to know that it is important to show respect for all performances. Getting up and moving around shows lack of respect, and lack of attention.
3. We don’t talk while others are performing.
WHY: because performers deserve our attention.
4. Clap after every performance.
It’s hard to sing in front of your peers. So no matter how perfect/imperfect the performance was, we acknowledge the effort it took to get up and sing!
5. Good vibes only.
We encourage others, not put them down.
6. Once the list is made, no more requests until the entire list has performed.
Simply for my own, personal sanity.
Purpose of Karaoke Friday
I push my kids pretty hard the rest of the month, so I set aside this time to reward them for their effort. We use a point system in all classes during the month, and the class that earns the most points gets donuts on Karaoke Friday.
Most of the repertoire we focus on in class isn’t in the pop genre. So, this gives everyone the opportunity to share their personal tastes, and perform what THEY like to listen to.
I never force anyone to sing alone unless they want to. Karaoke provides a safe environment for students to practice their solo technique and performance skills. It’s also nice to hear how their individual voices develop over time.
The clip below shows an example of a solo performance during Karaoke Friday.
What do Students Learn?
I set my rules to mirror what is expected at any choral performance. By the time we approach a trip or concert, the kids already know how behavior expectations.
The majority of the time we work on choral technique. Karaoke gives them the chance to explore their solo voice, and practice pop technique in a teacher-supervised environment.
My students have a wide variety of tastes, and this is a great chance for them to share their favorite songs with each other.
We always try to be encouraging and positive. It makes me so happy to see students supporting other students.
Setting Up Your Own Karaoke Friday
What you need to get started
1. An internet-enabled device, such as:
2. Speaker. (I prefer bluetooth-enabled.) This is the new version of the speaker I currently use in class.
3. *Bonus* disco light
My disco light is an old lamp that I had in my college dorm room, with a light bulb like this one.
1. I set my iPad up on a music stand with the YouTube app already open.
2. Students come up during their turn, and search for a track by typing (name of song) karaoke, or (name of song) instrumental. I don’t currently use any microphone, but they have some neat blue tooth mics available now that are intended for use with Karaoke.
3. When classes prove to me that they are quiet, I turn on my disco lamp, and turn off the overhead lights. (my lamp isn’t very bright, so I ALWAYS leave on my office light and projector on just a blank, white screen so I can still see everyone clearly.)
4. We continue taking turns performing until everyone on the list has performed, or the bell rings. If there's still time after we've gone through the list, I'll allow students to raise their hands if they would like to come up and perform, and we will go like this one group at a time until the bell rings.
Do You Have Any Similar Activities?
What do you think about Karaoke Friday? Do you incorporate anything similar into your classroom? It's always great to have new, engaging ideas for our students, so I would love for you to share!