Advice students to start singing for fun, not weekly but DAILY! Singing has an effective role in training the musical ear improving the sense of pitch, intonation, phrasing and articulation.
Start your lessons with some singing. Get them to sing intervals of seconds, thirds, fourths, and so on. Also sing some major scales, arpeggios, and then progress to short excerpts of pieces they are working on. Use major and minor examples. Where the melody is way out of their natural register, show them how to adapt and bring into a comfortable range for them. They can always pick out the actual notes softly with one hand while singing it.
For echo singing, I would advise the student to memorise the beginning rather than all of the passage, if they can sing the opening, usually the ending happens naturally, not always but, if they couldn't sing the opening they most certainly wouldn't sing the ending either.
Advice students to start listening for fun, not weekly but DAILY! Audition develops kids inner ear and also trains their harmonic ear.
Teach them how to start an involved listening experience. Give them songs to listen to and different tasks. For instance:
- to detect the metre of the song (clap and try to find out if it's a waltz or a march)
- to detect the dynamic for the beginning or, the end of the song
- to reproduce the theme (listen carefully and try to memorise the theme )
Teach them how to recognise double, triple and quadruple metre and also make the difference between simple and compound time signature. Teach them to detect expressive qualities of music (dynamics, articulation)
Help them to learn to listen with critical thinking. Great advice is to start comparing different musical interpretations of a song.