The best drama game ever ever ever.

I may have written about this before but out of all of the amazing team building/ drama games I have come across this one is the creme de la creme. My kids, especially the little ones, absolutely love it. When I have a new class I open the session with the game and I close with the activity also.

Its called …. The Toy shop.

It goes like this. I am the toy maker . I work in the toy shop. The kids are the toys in the toy shop and when I am in the room the toys are frozen. I say ”3 ,2,1 Toys are frozen!” If they make noise or move around they are considered broken and they go in the bin. They can’t play (for a while) When I leave the room the toys come to life. I am always walking around the toyshop commenting on the interesting shape of the toys etc. then I leave. at first the noise is really gradual as the kids figure out that its ok to move around. Then it gets louder and louder. When I walk back in I announce “I’m back. The toys need to be frozen again.

When I come back in the room, I examine the frozen toys. I push a button on their arm “What does this one do?” The toy does something… anything. As soon as a kid does something……


Possibly their first ever improv offer.

So the toy shop owner validates the offer. “ Wow a toy robot!” “It just falls over!” “it plays the piano” etc.

The toy shop owner has an imaginary remote control in his or her pocket and presses the remote to stop the toy and to move on to the next toy.

The toy shop owner moves around the room and pushes the button on several toys. It works well if kids team up and make a big toy that works together. Sometimes the there might be Sometimes it might be a conga toy for example. they form a line and sing ‘Conga, Conga, Conga…” Sometimes the 2 elements of the same toy might be in different sides of the room. It could be a cops and robbers situations or something. That always amazes me.

Quite often, you take a simple idea. and leave it really open. An idea like the toy shop and see what kind of hacks kids can find. From time to time there will be one bright spark who will be a toy who turns on all of the other toys in the shop. The toy shop owner in mock horror leaves and when they owner returns the toys are always frozen again.

The Toy shop is the best game I have ever come across. It’s universally an absolute winner and Im always absolutely amazed when they want to play it week after week. Even the older kids pretend they have grown out of it but when I put it to a vote as to which game they want to play in the last five minutes the majority goes to the toy shop. And with my little ones in their first few weeks with me the first 5 questions I get is “ Can we play the toy shop”

classroom management- Objective observer

The really tricky thing teaching performing arts is to get a whole lot of energy in the room and yet keep control of the classroom. I have a few techniques that work really well. don’t let anyone in the room until they are settled. Line up outside the door and encourage the kids who are doing the right thing. By the right thing I mean not screaming and jumping on each other. Keep reminding the class of your expectations.

With the little kids, I’say “don’t surprise me by making a perfect circle sitting down quietly on the floor.” That would really surprise me. If they do what I asked I will pretend to get a huge shock. If they don’t , I say “ You didn’t surprise me.

Often I will assign a chair on the periphery of the room and choose one kid to be the objective observer. That kid just watches the class for 5 minutes or so. At the end of the few minutes he/ she will give feed back on the level of listening in the class. The objective observer can even name names. “ Billy started talking to Jack white the teacher was talking. “

Its really important to remind everyone that it isn’t a witch hunt. Its just objective feedback. Don’t feel bad or guilty. Just take it on board and realise that that’s what happened in the eyes of an objective observer. it can be very powerful.

I tried a sshh counter. I would put a tick up on the board every time I had to say shhh and it became quite competitive as to which class got the least sshhhh. A scoring system similar to golf. It worked quite well actually but I think something that rewards good behaviour would be even better.

Giant's treasure. ( With a twist.)

If you don’t know how to play giants treasure, just type it into google.") Here’s a classic drama game but i’ve given it a bit of a spin. So you put a set of keys or something in front of you and you inform the kids that you are going to play giants treasure. Its me against you. If I see you pick up the keys its all over. By the time the kids get to the keys let them know that they have to work together. Don’t try to pick up the keys. They will always try to pick up the keys the first couple of times because the temptation will be far too great. Advise the kids to step in front of the keys. Form a wall around the keys and only pick them up when the keys are completely out of view. Then its everyone’s responsibility to pretend they have the keys. The teacher has 3 guesses to try to figure out who has the keys. WHEn the kids finally make it back with the keys (if they actually do) Pandemonium erupts. Sometimes I make it a boys on to girls game. My my how competitive they get. The atmosphere is intense.

Term 4 Toys!!

Were gonna do songs about toys, Skits about toys, pretend to be toys. We are going to play the toyshop game a lot! Bring in your toys and play at Extraordinary Kids- Singing, Dance, Drama. No sequins, no make up just performing arts and fun


Could you enthuse kids about the science of singing?


How could you pitch it. Have you ever seen that brilliant you can make with a couple of balloons and an old plastic drink bottle. If you get a chance check it out. its a brilliant way to show how it all works. I have been singing and teaching for 20 years and i learned something from that little experiment.  I’d have kids make that model. I don't know if you have ever seen a video the vocal folds working via larynxoscopy. Pretty fascinating and pretty weird. I can just hear a bunch of kids shouting “gross” They would enjoy it though. the last thing I would get them interested in is the possibility of breaking glass with the voice. Can it really be done. There is so much science right there and huge potential for comedy. I’ll give you a hint, you have to sing a note at the exact frequency the glass vibrates at when you flick it with something or if you wet your finger and rub it around the rim. I think it could be a pretty good incursion. an extraordinary incursion…..

How it all began

I was on the phone to a lady the other day who was enquiring about our singing dance and drama program and I found myself telling her our story from the very beginning, Beccy and I are opera singers when we aren't teaching but our kids were never really stage kids. They love singing, they are always singing but the aren’t those kids that just have to be on stage under the lights with the costume. They never really had the desire to be centre stage they just wanted to be involved. We wanted to find an outlet for their love of the theatre but it was really hard to find something that wasn't really strict, that didn't require a uniform, that was a no pressure environment. The big bug bear for me was the end of year concertand the awards. As parents we once attended a drama program’s end of year concert that went for 4 hours. I’ll say that again 4 hours. I was dying. 

at the end of the night they gave out awards. There were 30 kids and 20 kids got an award for something or other. My kid of course was one of the kids who came home empty handed. 


That’s why we decided on no hierarchy and really really mercifully short concerts. Regular Yes but short. If your experience is a good one you don't mind regularly attending. Even though I create kids concerts, I still hate going to them. I can sometimes dread them for days. That’s because they are too long. If you have to have an interval in a kids concert then the concert is too long. I would just have a couple of smaller concerts on different nights so you don’t have to watch everyone else. When putting on a concert you have a responsibility to your audience to make it run really smoothly to cut down the time that person is sitting there. 


Friends of our suggested we start our own school. We shrugged it off at first but when our kids found out that it was a possibility there was a sense of excitement in the air. To be quite frank the idea of creating a program for kids in the local area was scary. I would have much rather done it in an area where no one knew us that way, if it failed we could have disappeared without a trace. But we created it in Balwyn where we live and a lot of kids who knew us came and it was kind of exciting.



I used a lot of props when we first started laser lights and smoke machines, story books with pictures that kind of thing. That had it’s place but over time I realised that it’s really about the imagination. More and more I asked the kids to create things in their minds. 


We also played a lot of musical games then which we don't do so much of now. I often ask myself before I plan a song or game “ DO I want to sing this? Does this game sound fun to me?” It really is trial and error. Some activities seem so utterly lame and i’ll try it and the kids love it . 


We play this game sometimes called Battle of the air bands. It’s like an air guitar competition but with a whole band.  Kids form bands and come up on stage and the group that rocks out the best wins. It’s one of those activities where if there are parents in the room I wonder what they are thinking. Imagine “where’s the educational value in this…”  The value is in standing up and making a twit of yourself in front of people and getting applause. 

We have been going for 4 years now in Balwyn

So we started Extraordinary Kids 4 years ago because our kids wanted an outlet for their enthusiasm for musical theatre but we couldn’t find anything that wasn't stagey or hierarchical that taught all 3 disciplines, singing, dance and drama without horrendously long end of year concerts. 

We did the old “ if I were to start a school i’d do this… “ My particular thing was “ Not have long concerts” so we made them short. We approached it from the point of view of the parents as much as the kids and threw out the notion that we are going to make you a star.



So 4 years on, we are still at the Deepdene Uniting Church Mondays and Wednesdays. We still have the same ethos. Over time we have started to theme each of the terms. (This year there’s a fairy tale theme. ) There’s a lot of Disney and some songs from Sondheim’s Into the woods!


We have started to use microphones for the songs and skits in the concerts too. we have built up a whole system that we now use for our own gigs. In case you didn’t know Beccy and i are performers our selves - Opera singers by trade. 


When we started there was a huge percentage of kids from Deepdene Primary school. That’s probably because our kids go to Deepdene Primary and a lot of parents and friends got wind that we were starting a performing arts program and decided to tag along. 


Now we have a broad cross section of kids from a lot of local schools: Kew East Primary School, Kew Primary, Doncaster Primary school, Birralee, Balwyn North Primary, Balwyn Primary, Ringwood Primary, Mont Albert primary school,Kew East, Boroondara Park Primary ,Ivanhoe Primary, Camberwell girls grammar school, Deepdene PS, OLGC, Deepdene, Kew East Ps, Mont Albert primary, Our Lady of perpetual help, Mont Albert Primary School, St Gregory the Great, Greythorn Primary School, BALWYN NORTH, Xavier ,and Chattham Primary School to name just a few. That is an incredibly broad cross section of schools.

We actually have a lot of kids that come from Richmond West primary and Richmond primary.  There’s also a couple of kids that come from Ivanhoe as well.



I honestly don’t know how they found us because schools are very protective these days and wont endorse extra curricular activities and lets face it theres a lot of drama programs, dance programs singing school, musical activities in the South Eastern Suburbs.  I think this is only going to grow as the population grows. It’s fantastic for kids whose English is their second language too. We have a lot of gorgeous Asian kids who attend at the moment. It’s a real cultural melting pot. 



It is very rewarding to see all of the kids coming on their own and being creative and having fun with a whole lot of kids from different schools. There’s something about the performing arts that breaks down boundaries. The games we use are usually ice -breakers and we spend a lot of time laughing. Its a great bonding agent.


It’s great to hear the singing come out of the singing studio too. The kids go ape over Into the woods. The great thing about that for me is I love the show. It’s really sophisticated Musical theatre at it’s very best. It’s one of the first shows i was exposed to when I was a student at the Western Australian Academy of Performing arts. If we don’t churn out stars ( thats certainly not the aim) One thing I sincerely hope is that we do create great audience members and patrons of the performing arts. 


I can honestly say that my life has greatly been enriched through the performing arts. I’d like to see the kids get the same benefit





What is learning to sing ?

When i was a kid, I had a sneaking suspicion that I could be a good singer. I would sing in the shower and what not and I could hear a decent voice. I wished I knew where to go from there. I wished I even know what sound to aim for. I was always a good mimic so I figured if I knew what good singing was then i could aim for that. Problem was I didn't really know what good singing was. 

Someone asked me recently what are you trying to do when you do singing lessons. 

I didn't understand the question and asked for clarification and the person said


“ well when you learn a sport you learn to kick a ball you learn to dribble and to pass and positions etc. What do you do in singing”


It was a genuine question and an excellent one. 


The best way I can describe what you do when you sing is this. 


Everyone has a basic instrument learning to sing is optimising and maximising that instrument through the use of air and the supporting muscles. 


That’s what it is in a nutshell.


I’ve got an idea. Kids have to move. We do a lot of circle work at Extraordinary Kids and i look around the circle. especially when I’m trying to explain the exercise, and they are jiggling and wriggling and there’d be a few hand stands and what not. I wonder if you couldn’t have a program that is always moving. If we stand in a circle we all walk in a clock wise direction and then the other way. As i explain the next thing it happens as we are all moving. watch this space..

Patch Theatre Company

Much of the philosophy of Extraordinary Kids, especially for drama, is so heavily influenced by a small children's  theatre company in Adelaide. A tiny company who punches way, way above her weight internationally. Most of it is due to a guy called Dave . It was always an incredible journey of self discovery working there  I remember doing a particular scene where I was a servant and i was to share my lunch with the king. ( I think the king had gone broke or something.) I gave the king this little brown box that contained brown bread and honey. "Brown bread and honey?????" said the king. “ Yes brown bread and honey.” I gave the box to the king.  But i gave it to him like I was handing over my ID as Dave patiently pointed out.  This helped me learn to imbue - To give value to something just by how you handle it.  

The way you hold the box it has to have a specialness. You have to hold it like it is something precious. I was so crap at that at first.

We do a simple exercise at EK where i ask Kids to pick up something from around the room and walk up to another kid standing in the circle and say “from me to you” The object of the exercise is to imbue a piece of fluff or a rag with incredible fragility and importance. 

Imbue. its one of my favorite words.. 


For more information on Patch




Home ground advantage

Story goes Larry David the creator of the sublime Seinfeld and Curb your Enthusiasm was once a stand up comic. He would walk out infront of an audience and if he didn't feel the warmth from the crowd he would just say “Naa.” and walk off!  No explanation . Nothing.  I often say in our little concerts to the audience “This is a 2 way street”. My brother played in the AFL and he told me that “you would not believe the difference a home crowd makes.” I always found that astonishing in something like football. Elite athletes play better when people are cheering for them. I think its really really important that when parents see the shows they take an active role in the other 50 percent- the whooping and yelling and the laughing. It makes a massive difference. You see the kids rise to the occasion when the wind is behind their sails.

Face front and the clutch

““Face front. Face the front. Cheat it out. We need to see your face. We got your back for most of that you have to face the audience. You don't need to look at him. I know it sounds weird but you don’t need to look at him when you speak to him.” Then theres “ I didn't hear any of that . Don't forget that there’s an audience if we don't hear that word the joke won’t make sense.. Say it into the microphone. Yes good but say it clearly into the microphone. Yes but face the front.  If this was on TV that would be perfect. Perfect.! But we are in a theatre so it’s got to be a lot bigger. Think of it as sharing the conversation with the person at the back of the room. GO! Face front, speak clearly, share it with the room, Into the microphone. Keep up the pace. It’s got to be quick or you’ll loose them.” 

I drive my car I every day. I get to a place and don't remember the journey. But remember learning to drive?. Speed limit. Lights. Parking. Indicate, no one in your blind spot. Starting on a hill. clutch. Oh my, the clutch!  I fired my first driving instructor for lack of patience. My foot shook on the accelerator for a year after I got my license. It takes time. They are doing their best. You have to be patient.

Becoming more observant

Becoming more observant.


When do we really teach people to be more observant of things in everyday life. There is a great corporate team building exercise where they ask everyone to close their eyes and describe parts of the office. what colour is the carpet? What kind of lights are there.? That kind of thing. A lot of great actors biographies suggest to aspiring actors to learn to be more observant. I remember Michael Caine in his autobiography talking about how his favourite passtime was to just sit somewhere and observe people.  Have you heard of those great experiments that would have a group of students in a room in the middle of a lecture or something and a cleaner would come in and potter about and then leave. A pretend cop would come in later and tell the room that there was a robbery and ask the room to describe the cleaner. People would argue vehemently. 

“No he was tall! He was old!. No He was Young!”


We observe things so differently and often so inaccurately and

Quite often the smallest observation can be very powerful


Top 15 excuses for not doing your homework



15    I lost it fighting a kid who said you're not the best teacher in the world


14        I’m batman 


13    A kid borrowed it to copy it and didn't give it back  



12    We find didn't have any toilet paper and dad had a runny bottom  




11    I Posted it to you didn't you get it? Australia post these days.



10    oh it must have fallen out of my bag! What a shame. 




9    My dad forgot to do it for me.  




8    the wind blew it our of my hands. I chased it for hours.  That’s why I'm late too.  



7    I didn't want you to have to mark it. You work hard enough.  



6    You said “ do Questions 1 - 10” you didn't say bring it in! 



5    The cleaning lady threw it away. It was good too.


4    I got soap in my eyes and was blinded for the rest of the night.



3    I gave it to the emergency teacher. I hope she gave it to you 


2.     A: I use a solar powered calculator

    B: So What?

    A: It was cloudy   


1.     What homework?  

Scripts Big Group

1. Teacher: whoever answers my next question, can go home.

One boy throws paper at the teacher.

Teacher: who just threw that?!

Boy: Me! and I get to go home now. So long suckers.



2. The children were lined up in the cafeteria of a Catholic elementary school for lunch. 

At the head of the table was a large pile of apples. 

The nun made a note, and posted on the apple tray,

 “Take only one. God is watching.”

Moving further along the lunch line, at the other end of the table was a large pile of chocolate chip cookies. 

One child whispered to another, “Take all you want. 

God is watching the apples.”



3. Two boys were arguing when the teacher entered the room. 

The teacher says, "Why are you arguing?"

One boy answers, "We found a ten dollor bill and decided to give it to whoever tells the biggest lie."

"You should be ashamed of yourselves," said the teacher, "When I was your age I didn't even know what a lie was."

The boys gave the ten dollars to the teacher.




4. ”Dad, I don't want to go to school today." said the boy.

"Why not, son?"

"Well, one of the chickens on the school farm died last week and we had chicken soup for lunch the next day. Then three days ago one of the pigs died and we had roast pork the next day."

"But why don't you want to go today?"

"Because our English teacher died yesterday!”




5. Teacher: If a lion is chasing you, what would you do?

Christy: I'd climb a tree.

Teacher: if the lion climbs a tree?

Christy: I will jump in the lake and swim.

Teacher: if the lion also jumps in the water and swims after you?

Christy: Teacher, are you on my side or on the lion's?








6.The teacher is droning away in the classroom when he notices a student sleeping way up in the back row. 

The teacher shouts to the sleeping student's neighbor, "Hey wake that student up!"


The neighbor yells back, "You put him to sleep, you wake him up!”


A student went to class late, so the teacher asked him, "Why are you late?"

He told her, "I was dreaming of a Manchester United football match."

But that did not make any sense for the teacher so she ask, "Still why are you late?"

He answered, "Because there was extra time.”






7.Teacher: “If I give you two rabbits and two rabbits and another two rabbits, how many rabbits have you got?”

Boy: “Seven!”

Teacher: “No, listen carefully again. 

If I give you two rabbits and two rabbits and another two rabbits, how many rabbits have you got?”

Boy: “Seven!”

Teacher: “Let’s try this another way. 

If I give you two apples and two apples and another two apples, how many apples have you got?”

Boy: “Six.”

Teacher: “Good. 

Now if I give you two rabbits and two rabbits and another two rabbits, how many rabbits have you got?”

Boy: “Seven!”

Teacher: “How on earth do you work out that three lots of two rabbits is seven?”

Boy: “I’ve already got one rabbit at home now!”




8. Little Johnny's first grade class was playing "Name That Animal." 

The teacher held up a picture of a cat and asked, "What animal is this?"

"A cat!" said Suzy.

"Good job. 

Now, what's this animal?"

"A dog!" said Ricky.

"Good. Now what animal is this?" she asked, holding up a picture of a deer.

The class fell silent. 

After a couple of minutes, the teacher said, "It's what your mom calls your dad."

"I know!" called out Little Johnny. 

"A moron!”













9. Teacher: Did your father herp you with your homework?

Student: Nope

Teacher: Hmm are you sure your father didt help you with your homework

Student: Nope , he did it all by himself



10. Peter: What’s the difference between a teacher and a train?

Ted: What?

Peter: A teacher says, “Spit out that gum!” and a train says, “Chew! Chew!”



11.  Two fathers chat outside school in the morning;

"Bill, have you solved your son’s math problems?"

"Yes, man, I did. Why?"

"Can you quickly give them to me, so I can copy them…?"


12Teacher: Tell me a sentence that starts with an "I". 

Student: I is the....

Teacher: Stop! Never put 'is' after an "I". Always put 'am' after an "I".

Student: OK. I am the ninth letter of the alphabet.




13A professor was giving a big test one day to his students. 

He handed out all of the tests and went back to his desk to wait.

Once the test was over the students all handed the tests back in. 

The professor noticed that one of the students had attached a $100 bill to his test with a note saying "A dollar per point."

The next class the professor handed the graded tests back out. 

This student got back his test, his test grade, and $64 change. 




14Did anyone ever notice that "STUDYING" is a mixture of STUDY and DYING?



15Teacher: "Now class, whatever I ask, I want you to all answer at once. 

How much is six plus four?"

Class: "At once!”



16Teacher: “Johnny, what is the outside of a tree called?”

Johnny: “I don’t know.”

Teacher: “Bark, Johnny, bark.”

Johnny: “Bow, wow, wow!”



Scripts Middle group




A: How did you go in your end of year exams 

B: I got an A, B and a C

A: Well done!!!

B: Thanks. 

A: And what other letters do you think you will learn next year






Teacher : Imagine you were in a world of dinosaurs. and they dinosaur was going to eat you. What would you do?


Kid : Err.. stop imagining?





Element of surprise


Teacher: Right. get out your physics books everyone. Ok Jenny can you give me an example of an element? 11311


Jenny:  RAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!


Teacher: ahhhhhhhh! what. was. that? 


Jenny. “That” was the element of surprise.




Mean but fair


Mum: Hi how was your first day how would you describe your teacher.

Kid: She’s mean and cruel …but fair 

Mum: Meanand cruel but fair? what do you mean by that?

Kid: SHe’s mean and cruelto everyone.



Abstract noun


Teacher: AN abstract noun is something you can think of but you cant touch. Can you give me an example of an abstract noun.


Kid: Dads car.











scare his parents


Dad:  Can I see your report card?

Kid: No. My mate borrowed it.

Dad: Your mate borrowed your report card? why did he do that?

Kid: He wanted to scare his parents






Teacher : Do you say your prayers before dinner?

Kid: No I don’t have to.

Teacher and why not?

Kid: My mum’s a good cook






Life after death

Kid: Excuse me miss, Is there life after death?

Teacher: Hmm well err…. Why do you ask 

Kid: I need the extra time to finish all ofthe homework you gave us.





Teacher: never use “A” before a plural. For example you don't say “a cows.”

Pupil: but why does the preacher say Amen!





teacher: what does your history book tell you about the civil war

Kid: It didn't tell me anything. I had to read the dam thing!






Teacher: What are you drawing Nelly?

Nelly: Im drawing a picture of god?

Teacher: Oh dear Nelly. NO one knows what god looks like..

Nelly: well, they will in a minute.







Mom: What did you do at school today?

Mark: We did a guessing game.

Mom: But I thought you were having a math exam.

Mark: That’s right! A guessing game



Teacher: “You know you can’t sleep in my class.”

Boy: “I know. But maybe if you were just a little quieter, I could.”



Teacher: What do you call a person who keeps on talking when people are no longer interested?

Student: A teacher?




Teacher: Tell me a sentence that starts with an "I". 

Student: I is the....

Teacher: Stop! Never put 'is' after an "I". Always put 'am' after an "I".

Student: OK. I am the ninth letter of the alphabet.



Teacher: “You know you can’t sleep in my class.”

Boy: “I know. But maybe if you were just a little quieter, I could.”


Found this on Glenferrie primary school's newsletter Awesome!

Why we should sing

Vanessa Ilicic, HealthLogix Reporter

Whether in the shower, car or a choir, it seems there are good health reasons to sing – regardless of skill.
In fact, singing can positively impact the vocalist physically and emotionally, according to research. And, the range of benefits can increase if it’s performed in a group.
So, let’s take a closer look at the reasons for breaking into song ...

Physical benefits

Those who’ve ever doubted the physical demands of singing need only observe a professional on stage. The sweaty brow of an opera star, for example, may not be due to hot lights or stage nerves, but rather the act of singing itself. “Singing is an aerobic activity that increases oxygenation in the bloodstream and exercises major muscle groups in the upper body, even when sitting,” says Professor Graham Welch, Chair of Music Education at the University of London’s Institute of Education.

Research suggests it’s the physical activities involved in singing, namely breathing exercises and voice control, which are responsible for the physical health benefits.
“These activities can positively affect breathing capacity, muscle tension and posture, and reduce respiratory symptoms,” according to a literature review published and funded by the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (Vic Health), Australia, in 2011.

And singers needn’t be professional to benefit.
For instance, the activity can help older, non-professional singers better control their breathing during other exercise, and reduce symptoms in those with their breathing during other exercise, and reduce symptoms in those with general bodily aches and pains, based on the review by Victoria University.

Psychological benefits

Interestingly, some of the physical changes that occur when singing can have psychological benefits.
Consider, for example, hormonal changes. The Vic Health review states that singing can lead to reduced levels of a hormone associated with emotional stress, plus increases in others associated with positive or relaxing experiences or feelings of wellbeing.
So powerful are singing’s potential psychological benefits that it’s sometimes used therapeutically.
“Singing combined with other therapeutic techniques has been shown to assist the recovery process of various psychological and physiological health problems across different age groups”, from infants with cystic fibrosis to people with dementia, for example, according to the review.
Among the cited benefits are greater comfort and improved mood, in particular, reduced anxiety, depression and anger, and increased joy, calmness and inner peace.
And it seems that list can grow if singing with others.
For example, the review points to a body of research that shows group singing can lead to a sense of accomplishment, increased self-confidence, empowerment and interpersonal skills, reduced feelings of social isolation and expanded social networks.
Although being a good singer can add to listeners’ pleasure, it mightn’t be necessary to reap the health rewards. According to a study published in Psychology of Music back in 2005, group singing “can produce satisfying and therapeutic sensations even when the sound produced by the vocal instrument is of mediocre quality”.
Despite the many potential health benefits of singing alone or with others, remember it’s not a cure-all.
Then again, if it’s appropriate in your context, there’s probably little harm in bringing your favourite song to life the next time you feel so inclined. 

Can you teach a tone deaf person to sing in tune?

Look its a long hard road. I think the first thing you have to ascertain is “Is this person tone deaf?” can the student hear that they are singing out of tune? If the student has no idea they are off then thats the first thing to be done is to help the student hear that they are off. They may never get there.  If the student says “ yeh I’m way off” then there is hope. start with one note and patiently correct the student until they get there. If they can hear they are off then they’ll get there. Then slowly move a semitone and back, then a tone and so on. Sing with the student to reinforce the melody when you can and drop out. Let them sing alone for a bit then jump back in when the trainer wheels fall off and they wobble. 

Kids and the science of singing

How could you pitch it. Have you ever seen that brilliant you can make with a couple of balloons and an old plastic drink bottle. If you get a chance check it out. its a brilliant way to show how it all works. I have been singing and teaching for 20 years and i learned something from that little experiment.  I’d have kids make that model. I don't know if you have ever seen a video the vocal folds working via laryngoscopy. Pretty fascinating and pretty weird. I can just hear a bunch of kids shouting “gross” They would enjoy it though. the last thing I would get them interested in is the possibility of breaking glass with the voice. Can it really be done. There is so much science right there and huge potential for comedy. I’ll give you a hint, you have to sing a note at the exact frequency the glass vibrates at when you flick it with something or if you wet your finger and rub it around the rim. I think it could be a pretty good incursion. an extraordinary incursion…..