written by Metro Music Makers instructor Chelsea Sefzik
Are you heading out of town for the holiday break? Maybe even headed to that favorite childhood destination. . . Walt Disney World?! Whether you're Orlando-bound or heading to the in-laws for some Christmas cheer, if you've got time in the car, you've got time to put those singing skills to use! I’ve put together a list of my top five Disney hits that can take any young girl from just singing in the car to practicing in the car.
1. “When Will My Life Begin?” from Tangled
Hands down, this is my number one pick! Mandy Moore nails the natural vocal connection in this song with ease, and while I don’t encourage imitation, this is one I wouldn’t mind any young singer imitating. The song provides a balance of singing in chest voice, which includes a lot of complex text to boot, with an equally challenging head voice section at the end. If your young singer is working through tonality and jumps in her voice, this song is a perfect choice to be sung over and over again.
2. Reflection” from Mulan
Most of the time, young girls aren’t singing enough in their head voice. “Reflection” is a great song that packs a punch for head voice development. I often use this song for older students who come to me with less developed head voices. Not only is this great for singing multiple times in the car, it carries a dramatic text that makes any singer feel like she’s singing her heart out.
3. “Poor Unfortunate Souls” from The Little Mermaid
If you need a song that is focused on a characteristic belt and a LOT of acting, this is your golden ticket. With an incredibly descriptive text and a character worth developing, this song has definitely made my top five, and I consistently love using it. Besides character development in the acting, it also provides opportunity to characterize the singing text with different interpretations. For dramatics and hilarity, plug this one into that playlist.
4. Almost There” from The Princess and The Frog
I will forever love this song specifically for its style development. With stylistic runs (coloratura passages) and a strong middle voiced tessitura, any developing belter would do well to sing this multiple times until you’re “almost there.”
5. How Far I’ll Go” from Moana
With its challenging belt, this song is guaranteed to work a young singer’s total support. The vocal range doesn’t generally exceed a C# and barely grabs a D5 a total of two times, making it exhilarating to sing, and not detrimental. The slow vocal rise of the song makes it acceptable for a younger to sing and undoubtedly so much fun.
Bonus: Check out this Princess Power Medley sung by some of my favorite Broadway singers for your car ride! Can you guess where each song is from?
P.S. If you need some help planning your next Disney vacation, one of Metro Music Makers' Holiday Recital sponsors, Jennifer Zasio with Ears of Experience, has your back!