top of page

Harness Great Singing with Analogy

Consider the idea of schema when teaching music fundamentals. “A schema is a cognitive framework or concept that helps organize and interpret information. We use schemas because they allow us to take shortcuts in interpreting the vast amount of information that is available in our environment.” (Cherry, 2022).

John Medina, in Brain Rules, discusses the significance of schema in learning. His research indicates when teachers incorporate a student’s prior knowledge or understanding to new instruction, the learning process is accelerated, and retention is increased. Thus, when teaching music concepts, consider communicating word pictures drawing upon student’s prior experiences by using metaphor, analogy, story, and imagery from their life experiences and knowledge whenever possible. These tools incorporating a schema aid student’s understanding of complex concepts like singing and making music.

Here's a few of my favorite analogies to aid in beautiful singing that will allow your students to harness schema:

Posture: Stand up straight as if you are going to zip your jacket.

Breathing: Deep Breathing is like completely filling up a spare tire around your waist.

Breath Support: Your air stream is like a stream of water flowing from a garden hose.

Open Throat: Imagine beginning a yawn and keep your throat that open.

Focused Tone: Sing as if you were signing from your toes to your nose.

Singing Through the Phrase/Legato: Singing legato is like a falling dominos with each domino connecting to the next.


Cherry, K. (2012). What Is a Schema in Psychology? Retrieved 9.15.22 from

Medina, John. Brain Rules. Pear Press, 2009.

The TykesHub Curriculum is a proven method of teaching faith-based music. View all of our resources and remember that 100% of all proceeds support global hubs.


bottom of page