Working with children in a recording session can be lots of fun. Managing a recording session with young people does come with its own unique set of challenges though. In this article I’m going to list my top 5 tips I use when working with groups of children in a recording session.
Keep It Fun
Children can be prone to nerves so I like to try and distract them by engaging with them in an entertaining way. Kids respond well to light hearted humour and smiles. Children don’t respond well to pressure so try to adopt a different, more fluid workflow to what you would normally use when working with adults.
Team Work And Tasks
When working with a number of kids I like to promote team work by encouraging the kids to have small independent roles so that each child has a responsibility in the session. One job can be for a child to listen for lyrical mistakes whilst another can be responsible for managing water bottles. Try to think of anything that gives a child the feeling of purpose and responsibility as children thrive on that.
Games & Awards
Children generally like to try their best and their best should be recognised and rewarded. At the start of the session think of some awards that can be presented at the end of the session.
Such awards can be:
- Best singer
- Best group manager
- Best technical helper
Be Very Aware Of Personalities
From the moment you meet a group of children you should, as the adult and professional responsible for the recording session, be aware of each and every personality. What I mean by this is that you should be equally aware of the nervous quiet child at the back of the room as much as the confident shouty one at the front. It’s always best to spread your attention evenly amongst the group so that all the kids are engaged as a team rather than a collection of kids all fighting for their own independence.
I like to expect very little when a child is behind the microphone. If all the above points in this article are working then the only thing I expect is some magic in the forms of a child having a fun experience. This for me is what working with children is all about. That first time a child records their singing voice into a microphone, in a studio with a music producer might just be one of those inspiring moments they carry forward through their lives.
If you have previously worked with groups of children in a recording session then you may have tried some of my tips. If you have not worked with children in a recording session then never shy away from the opportunity as these sessions are a lot of fun and you never know... you may inspire the next Adele.
I’ve started the conversation so let’s hear some of the methods you use when working with kids in the comments below.