I've heard that kids should hear a song at least 5 times before attempting to sing it to ensure they get the song in their heads and really sing it in tune with the right lyrics and other musical aspects. I made a list of ways to get kids to listen to songs repeatedly without getting bored and antsy. I'm running short on ideas, though. Please add to the list if you read my post. Thanks.
1. A. If it’s a short song, like a nursery rhyme that’s only 2 or 3 phrases, you can sometimes get away with singing it through several times while students wait patiently. You can then echo sing the song back and forth until they get it.
2. B. If the song is repetitious (Ex:She’ll be comin round the mountain), it’s not necessary to repeat it too many times because the repetition is built into the song.
1. 1. If you have a long song that has 2 or more verses, teach only one verse on the first day. Once they have the tune of the first verse down, it will make the 2nd verse ten times as easy.
2. Give students something to do as you sing like patting, snapping, or tapping the beat as you sing to alleviate boredom.
3. 3. Play a copy cat game where students must copy your beat (tapping, clapping, etc.) as you listen silently to the song.
4. 4. Play the circle copy cat game where each student keeps a steady beat to the song, then taps the next kid on the shoulder to get them to keep another steady beat.
5. 5. Teach the song by rote, singing one phrase at a time, then putting each phrase together (this works better with songs with short phrases.)
6. 6. If it is a loud song, you may be able to have the students copy or echo you while listening to the song in the background and playing musical instruments like egg shakers or rhythm sticks.
7. 7. If the song includes movement, teach the movements to the song before teaching the song and have students perform movements as they listen.
8. 8. Conduct the song, especially if it is very dynamic and have students conduct along.
9. 9. Use ribbon wands to have students improvise creative shapes to go along with the music.
10. 10. Show students the text to the song and have them “lip-sync” or pretend sing the song before attempting it.
You have good ideas. When introducing new songs, most of the kids (especially the littles) try to sing with me, even if they've never heard it before. I model once, then invite them to try to sing with me. If the kids can read type out the lyrics. From 2nd grade and up I give them the music (vocal line with lyrics). Kids catch on quickly.
If your main goal is memorization, I would hold off on the instruments, even the tapping games - the kids will focus on that and not even realize what the song was.
Never let the students sing with you. It is my turn your turn. If you really want see how to get started check out this DVD series. John Feierabend will give you plenty of ideas that you can use with all grade levels.
Here are the ways in which I introduce and repeat new songs, listed in order. I do not do all of this at once, but over several lessons. All of these steps are part of the Kodály method, specifically from Kodaly Today by Tacka and Houlahan.
1. Teacher sings and keeps a steady beat or simple ostinato, children keep ostinato and listen.
2. Teacher sings a phrase, children echo.
3. Teacher sings the song, children "draw the phrases," using their fingers tracing an arc in the air. The class then discusses the number of beats in each phrase and how many phrases there were.
4. Teacher sings, children echo, then play a game or learn a dance associated with the song. On about round 4 of the game, teacher drops out of the singing and lets the children lead.
4. Teacher sings the song, children echo and draw each phrase again. Teacher then sings the song as the students analyze the form of the song. For each time they label a new phrase (AABA, ABAC, & etc) the phrase is repeated.
Of course, all of these work for simple folk songs. For longer songs, posting the lyrics in a slide show is a must for me. Actions with the words also help with memorization.
According to my Kodaly levels, that is not the Kodaly method of teaching a song. I go with Feieraband's method of having the children do something while hearing the song. I have them keep different beat motions (on your head, snapping, tapping foot, touching knees with fingertips) while hearing it. I wouldn't suggest clapping because younger kids will gradually speed up the beat without meaning to and it will cover up the singing. I may also have them walk the beat, play a singing game to accompany the song. Just always keep them busy doing something. After they hear it several times 5-6 or sometimes more, THEN I drop out and let them sing it alone. We don't actually analyze the song (trace the melody, etc) until I'm at the Presentation part of the element, so perhaps you're confusing that part of the lesson. I have the Tacka and Houlahan book, and I don't remember how it was written to teach songs, but I don't agree with teaching songs that way.