Backing tracks can be really fun and create an instant feel-good factor in the classroom. However, when you take the backing tracks away for a while, you will be able to start to hear the children’s individual voices.
Many children, when singing with backing tracks have a lovely safe place to hide out in ‘mime mode’ and can hope for the rest of the group to carry them along.
Have you ever asked a child to sing one of these songs by themselves, unaccompanied? I bet many children would be scared to try. They are carried along by the feeling the song gives (which I agree can be great) but are they really developing THEIR OWN voices and working on THEIR OWN musicianship skills?
In English would you ask a child just to listen to a story and try to read along without ever hearing their individual reading ability and moving them on from where they are?
In maths would you just do lots of general whole class questions and allow the less confident children to always let the more able answer?
Of course not – that would not be developing their OWN SKILLS
That’s why it’s SO IMPORTANT to sing UNACCOMPANIED at times, and really LISTEN to the children’s voices. From there you can ASSESS where they are and know how to help them MOVE FORWARD. Isn’t that what teaching is about?