Saturday, October 21, 2017

Birthday Song

Is it time to learn a new birthday song? We often get stuck in a rut and sing the same songs for opening, closing and birthdays.  There are 6 birthday songs in the Primary Songbook, including the baptism one on p. 104.

If you'd like a challenging song, try Feliz, Cumpleanos, p. 282.  This one is great if you have people in your ward that speak different languages or returned missionaries.  They can help you pronounce the words or give it a try yourself and use the pronunciations in the song.  The melody is fun and the rhythm truly makes the song. 

You can use:

  • word strips for pronunciation guides
  • word strips with the country of the language
  • pictures of children from the different countries
These will all help the children learn and love this new birthday song.  Always teach one phrase and a time with at least repeats of it so it sticks in their minds.

*It's always good if you know the song before you teach it.

Friday, October 6, 2017

When It's Fall Time

Enjoy singing some of the children's favorite songs.  Choose songs that your primary love to sing - many will come from the Sacrament Meeting Program this year.  Include p. 246 It's Autumntime, p. 247 Autumn Day and p. 241 Rain Is Falling (substitute leaves for rain).

I like to cut out leaf shapes in orange, yellow, red and brown.

  • put the titles and/or page numbers on the back 
  • tape the leaves to the board
  • ask a child to to pick a leaf
  • sing the song that is on the back
  • continue until all the leaves are chosen

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Weak Link

Did you make note of the songs that needed a little extra work before the upcoming program?  Determine which songs you would like to review - sometimes it's a verse that is weak.

Tell the children that sometimes we need to scrub the floor a little harder to get it clean or a stain on our clothes.  Our shoes may look okay but with a little cleaning and brushing we can make them shine.

Our songs for the program may be okay, but we want them to be spectacular.  It's our way of giving our best to Heavenly Father.  So . . . lets "shine" up our songs so we know that we are doing the best we can.

  • Sing through the first song to be reviewed.  Ask the children what could be better - words, melody, etc.
  • Sing it again and look for improvement.  Let the children help check for improvement.  
  • Go over words, melody or a weak spot in the song.
  • Sing it again.  Is it better?

Continue in this fashion.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Judgement Time

It's review time as we all prepare for our Primary Sacrament Meeting Program.  I like to evaluate what songs the children know well and those that need some refreshing.

  • Sing through each song that you plan on singing in the program - remember to sing all verses if possible.
  • Rate each of the songs - 1 through 10, 10 being awesome.
  • Make written note of each song and what needs work as you review.
I like to engage the children in this activity.
  • Make 3 or 4 sets of cards numbering 1 through 10
  • Choose 3 or 4 children to "judge" the first song
    • after singing the song, each of the "judges" will hold up a card that will show how well they all know the song.
    • Make sure the "judges" know that 1 is pretty bad, 5 is okay and 10 is awesome.
    • You might want to judge verses separately as sometimes one verse is better than another.
  • Choose 3 or 4 different children to "judge" the next song. 
  • Continue in this fashion
Next week plan on working on the songs that need the most work.
Be sure to use these songs for opening and closing songs to keep them fresh in the children's minds.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Making the Most Out of Singing Time

How can I help children internalize the messages in the songs that we sing?

This is a great question that we should ask ourselves every time we teach or sing Primary songs.  As we prepare for the Sacrament meeting program, we review songs over and over.  It is when you hear the children humming or singing the songs at home, while they play, in the car, on walks, etc. that many of the words and precepts become apart of them.  They begin to understand why they are baptized, stories from the scriptures, why we study the scriptures, why we pray, the importance of missionary work and genealogy, etc.

This post is to encourage singing, reviewing songs and singing again to help the children remember the songs.  You don't always have to have props or visuals. Singing one song after another or having a contest to see how many songs you can sing during your singing time is a great activity.

Sing standing up, facing the back or side of the room, singing every other phrase and humming the other phrase all help the children think about what they are singing.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Choosing Time - Review

Choosing time can be fun for the children and also help you know the songs they know and love. Often times the songs are the very songs that you have been working on for the up coming program. If your pianist is comfortable with playing any song the children choose, let the children have free rein on choosing. Otherwise, use a controlled choosing time.

I have several posts that have ideas for choosing times: back-to-school, fall,etc. The following is a generic choosing time that will work anytime you need.

  • cut out 8 or more circles from colored paper. (You can use different shapes if you would like.)
  • Write a song title on the back of the circles (I include the page number for ease of your accompanist)
  • Tape the circles to the board or around the room 
  • Choose a child to pick a circle and sing the song.
  • Always make note of the songs that need a little more review so you can work on it another time.
  • Try to keep this activity moving so you sing as many songs as possible.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

How many ways do we try to be like Jesus? As you help the children prepare for the Primary Sacrament Meeting Program, review the songs that you have learned. As you sing each song, ask the children to find phrases or clues in the songs that remind us to be like Jesus.

End with "I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus" - both verses.
Reviewing the songs that you have learned will help the children remember them as well as polish them for the program. Memorizing the words is important. It helps internalize the meaning of the song. If the children know the songs well, they will sing them often throughout the week. They will come to love them and be able to call upon their meaning as they need.