This post is sponsored by Jet Puffed Marshmallows.
To help my students feel the space they need for proper resonance, I started bringing in bags of marshmallows every year around this time, when we are really focusing on the building blocks of vocal technique.
I picked two warm-ups for everyone to sing that generally work well for tone. Today, we did a solfege ascending/descending scale, and Take Time In Life. Before singing with marshmallows, I have everyone sing through the warm-ups, and really listen to how they sound.
After the first run of each warm-up, we put the marshmallows in our mouths, and sing them again! You can hear lots of giggling in the video, (and scoffs when I tell them to put their marshmallow in their cheek so they can swallow extra spit!). It's fun entertainment for the whole family!! It can also get a little gross if you go too long before you eat your marshmallow...you've been warned.
I let students who don't really like marshmallows go spit them out in the trash can when we're done. You can see them rush to the far corner of the room in the video.
We do a final run of our two warm-ups after eating/spitting out our marshmallows to listen for any differences. I left the discussion part of the video in so you can see how we talk about what we hear, feel, etc. You'll notice that most of this class has done the marshmallow experiment before, and because they've been in chorus previously there isn't a huge change. But for beginners just figuring out vocal technique, this can make a huge difference because they don't have to imagine the amount of space they need...they actually feel it.
Other things to notice...
The kids were a little wound up today! But that's ok, I totally forgive them. This was my last period, which is always a little more high energy than the others. Plus, they were pumped because they got their new Chromebooks today. Considering all of the excitement, they were able to reign everything in fairly well when I needed them to. But hey, this is real-time and real-life, and when your students get new devices they get excited and hyper :)