Just thought I would share some ideas for doing singing warm ups for lesson starters.
I made up this very short ditty. The words are:
"Moi, j'aime chanter en français
Moi, j'aime chanter en français
Moi, j'aime chanter
Moi, j'aime chanter
Moi, j'aime chanter en français"
You need some actions to go with it as half the fun is seeing how the pupils cope with beginning slowly and then speeding up. They love the challenge of seeing how fast they can sing it without developing a tongue hernia!
So, 'moi' point to self. 'j'aime' hands clasped over heart, 'chanter' both hands raised to mouth to suggest words coming from it, 'en français', I just lower my hands from my face to my sides in time to the syllables, but make up your own actions.
Varying pitch and speed are always fun challenges. You can do this easily with sound editors such as Audacity or Wavepad.
I use backing tracks a lot to recap on previous lessons' work. As long as a track has a strong rhythm to it, you can do anything to it. To begin with I would speak the language in time to it until you become confident. If you are a confident singer and feel like letting rip with an adlib tune, then great!
The basic format is that you call out the word(s) and pupils copy you. They follow the actions and a tune if you are using one. Adding silly hand actions to the words adds a great fun dimension to them. If the hand action follows both the beat and the rhythm of the word syllables you are saying/singing, it also aids pronunciation, and later on, reading/listening.
You will find too in time that pupils will become more confident about adopting your role as the caller and leading the rest of the class. You could even set them a homework in small groups to come up with a list of key words for a topic spoken or sung to a tune of their choice that they present to the rest of the class.
Here are a couple of tracks that work
The first is a backing cover of Billy Ray Cyrus' 'achy, breaky, heart' that you can download for free at http://www.guitarbackingtrack.com/
The second is a funky blues number.
It is hard for anyone to listen to music like this and fail to be 'picked up' by the rhythm. One of the other reasons I do this singing warm up is because I have no idea what is going in the lives of the individuals I teach. Anything could be worrying them,could have crossed them or could be competing for their attention. They could be sitting in the room with me but have thoughts a million miles away.
The music is an instant way of bypassing all of this and going straight to someone's heart. If you have a whole class standing up and following your lead on this, it really isn't long before everyone is joining in. It happens without you having to challenge pupils or to cajole them to focus, they just do.
Above all it's great fun ....