Kids sing along

15 May 2020

WA Opera singer Perry Joyce invites children into the world of opera singing, and Seesaw’s junior reviewers join in.

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It has been wonderful to see the opportunities for children to connect with the arts as local arts companies begin to offer their art content online. Seesaw’s junior writers have been checking out the West Australian Opera’s Singing for Children classes. Read their commentary to find out if the free weekly classes would suit you.

My brother and I have really enjoyed the first two lessons of WA Opera’s singing classes for kids.  The classes started with some photos of the teacher, Perry Joyce, in the operas he has been in.  Then we did some singing exercises and stretches.  In each class we learned to sing part of a song.  I liked the songs because they have high parts which are good for kids’ voice range.  I think the lessons are very worthwhile because they are fun and educational. The video format was quite effective because if you got stuck on something you could easily go back and watch it again. You can repeat the lessons and the exercises over and over until you get them right.  I went through both of the lessons several times.  The music was a bit hard to see on my small iPad screen, but it would be ok on a laptop.  After the lessons I felt really happy and good about singing and I encourage everyone to try it!

Isabel Greentree, age 10

two children singing in their lounge
Isabel and Eddy Greentree enjoy WA Opera singing classes from their lounge room. Photo Jane Cuneen

The teacher Perry Joyce is very funny. We got to see inside his apartment and on his balcony. He has a good singing voice, it is very high. Each lesson he explains something about music, like high and low, or rhythm. He starts from the beginning which is a bit boring if you already know about music. Each lesson we learned a song, some of them were fast and a bit hard. Learning over video can be hard because you don’t have anyone next to you helping you. People should do these lessons if they want to learn how to sing. If they already know how, they might still have fun singing along with Perry.

Tahlia Appleby, age 7

I thought the WA Opera singing classes were an interesting and novel experience. The three lessons I participated in were great fun and I think the opera company achieved their goal of producing interactive and clear lessons that were easy to follow. The classes showed a variety of different singing exercises and advice on techniques. I do think the classes are centred towards younger children with its fun and exciting energy. I thought it was a worthwhile experience for younger singers, aged 5-9.

Saskia Haluszkiewicz, age 10

The West Australian Opera’s Singing for Children classes continue until July 3.

Pictured top: Perry Joyce welcomes viewers into his apartment in WA Opera’s online singing classes for children.

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Author —
Rosalind Appleby

Rosalind Appleby is an arts journalist, author and speaker. She is co-editor of Seesaw Magazine, author of Women of Note, and has written for The West Australian, The Guardian, The Australian, Limelight magazine and Opera magazine. She loves the percussion instruments which can be found in the uber cool parks.

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