Free vocal music When Love is Kind is one of those traditional songs you frequently find in older vocal music books. Download it for free, in four keys!
The big reasons to use this song...
There are two major reasons I give this song to all my beginning singers. Number one is the lyrics. Like much of the English language, the words of this free vocal music are full of dipthongs and other problems, which give singers opportunities to learn how to deal with these issues.
Here is a performer singing When Love is Kind, accompanied by a pianist playing a familiar arrangement of this song:
"When love is kind, cheerful and free, Love's sure to find, welcome from me." Just in the first sentence are a number of lessons in correct singing pronunciation.
What about dipthongs?
"Kind" and "find" need to have the sound of "ah," not the awful dipthong "uh-ih-EE." Here is where students start to develop the habit of elongating the first vowel sound of a dipthong, and either dropping off the final sound altogether, or tucking it in quickly with the final consonant. Thus, "When love is KAH-AH-AH-AH(eend)... and "Love's sure to FAH-AH-AH-AH(eend)"...
(To illustrate for beginning singers just what a dipthong is, I have them listen to me drag out the sound of the word "boil." It's not pretty. It goes something like this: "Boh-ih-ee-yuhl.")
Likewise, the EEE sound in "free" and "me" needs to be softened by dropping the jaw for a "north/south" orientation, rather than "east/west" with a wide smile. Think TALL, not WIDE, with the mouth. Flat, relaxed tongue.
And putting consonants on the ends of words...
There are lots more vowel and also consonant issues to be learned in this simple song... for example, ending the words with strong enough consonants to be really heard. I sing along with my students quite a bit initially in a song like this, exaggerating the final consonants.
"Kind" becomes "Kah-ah-ah-aheeNNNDDD!" I tell my singers, "Unlike regular talking, you want to over-do your words. Pretend you are telling a story to a group of three-year-old children who are having a hard time understanding you!" Don't worry; eventually, the exaggeration makes the lyrics audible, and not overdone as you might suspect.
Here is another video rendition of my free vocal music When Love is Kind, performed as part of a high school play (which helps explain the staginess and self-consciousness of the performer). Here, there is not so much polish as in the first video, but more bounce, which is cute:
But this song goes kind of low - right through my student's "break"!
Well, another reason I find this piece useful -- as well as pretty! -- for beginning singers are the interval leaps which happen over and over. For girls and women, they must go through their lower break area (around E above Middle C) again and again, up, down, up, down. This brings home to them the issue of having a consistent sound over their breaks, and learning the difference between the registers called "chest" voice, "middle" voice, and "head" voice.
Of course, this is classical singing style we're talking about! For popular/rock/folk genre songs, rules are much more flexible (even, perhaps, non-existent for rock singers who are pursuing a unique, individual sound).
Despite how catchy the tune is and how cute the words are, I won't promise this free vocal music will be your students' FAVORITE song. But they will learn a lot. Sometimes, I just don't offer them a choice. "You're going to sing this song," I say, and that's the end of the discussion!
Do you have a story or even a question about this vocal piece? Share it!
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... I watched your video "Wondrous Love" with your eight gals - Magnificent! So refreshing to see good harmonies sung a capella these days; it seems to be rare!
Thank you! THANK YOU!!! For keeping the beautiful art of Opera alive! I stumbled upon this site and I'm so happy I did!
Thank you for your wonderful website. I also teach piano, voice and guitar - spooky! My absolute passion is opera, and have opened many a singing student's ear to the beautiful melodies and voices in the repertoire. Thank you for the wonderful warmups which I have downloaded, and will be using at the earliest opportunity - I will let you know how they go! Looking forward to more warmup ideas, too.
Useful Sites for Vocalists
Cantorian.org, home to free classical sheetmusic
ChoralWiki, Home of the Choral Public Domain Library
International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP) Petrucci Music Library
Musicnotes.com - transpose vocal sheets up or down!
Note-Perfect.com, Resources for Choral Singers and Soloists - hear your part!
Singwise.com - Technical singing advice
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Thank you thank you thank you!! I have recently started my own vocal studio, and though I have studied music education for years in college, a private studio is a daunting task for me. Your site has made everything seem so simple and straightforward and has helped me to really get started. It is so comprehensive and well put together. Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge so that music can be shared everywhere. :)
Good for you! Yes, I know just what you mean. Every new endeavor requires a little bit of chutzpah -- not to say just brazening it out a bit, because you just can't be an expert at anything until you've done it for a while. All of us teachers have to learn how to teach... and you have to start somewhere.