Studies on performance usually deal with music intended for concerts. Very few of them are devoted to the genesis of expressive abilities that first arises in children’s singing.
Several studies observed the ability of children aged 4-5 years to sing in an expressive way using little variations in timing, dynamics and other musical characteristics.
A question arises: would children show better expressive abilities if teachers attract their attention to some properties? Do they enjoy to moulding their voice to show different emotions?
The aims of this research are to analize and compare the results obtained with a group of children when performing spontaneously two learned songs and when performing the same songs after receiving specific instructions by the teacher.
First phase: two songs were chosen and five teachers prepared an expressive performance of both: particular parameters (timing, dynamics, phrasing, timbre quality…) were accurately chosen. Each teacher sang them often with the expressivity chosen, to the 4-5 year-old children at their school without explaining /demanding any expressive character. When children knew those songs well, teachers recorded their performance individually.
Second phase: the same teachers sang again the same songs inviting children to pay attention to the particular parameters chosen. Then teachers recorded the children’s individual performance.
The analysis of the children performances, through Sonic Visualizer, confirmed a certain presence in the children’s performance of the teacher’s expressive model. Nevertheless the improvement obtained through specific instructions, show the ability of children to produce a more expressive performance and their enjoyment of it.