Primary has been asked to sing in Sacrament Meeting this coming Sunday. We have had one week to practise, as we had General Conference last Sunday. Eek!
I decided to play it safe. If you have an easy song with some extra accompaniment, it always sounds like you are WAY more prepared. If it is a well polished accompaniment, it will sound extra special.
We are doing ‘Hosanna’ (CS 66-67). We have one of the musical male teachers on a glockenspiel doing the ‘Ding, Dong, Ding’ part (we got approval for this from our Bishopric), our male Primary Pianist on the piano, and then I will play the violin part for the “Hosanna!” echo descant to the end of the piece. Our Primary President is going to conduct the children. It would be fine with a flute, and I was going to play the recorder (nicely, of course) but I am a bit rusty on my recorder playing skills. To cut a long story short, I am playing it on the violin instead – end of story! ;D
We had so much fun last Sunday being Scripture Heroes. I think it was the most attentive our Jnr Primary has ever been! Of course they would have been! We had swords, and shields and capes, and scriptures.
Here’s a sneak peak of how the process evolved (via pictures):-
The beginnings of a CTR Shield (just enlarge, and cut and trace)
With a little more detail
And now we’re talking!
Some of the boys were well, just being boys, so I told them I’d cut off their arms (like Ammon). Without another sound all 4 of them held out both their arms! It was SO funny. Back we went to singing Scripture power with my two helpers – complete with swords.
Crowd control…just in case.
I couldn’t get a photo of our pianist (he would have looked GREAT as a wild and woolly warrior). He had on a blue cape. Someone in the corridor suggested perhaps horns on his head to go with his (LOL and yes, I made him waltz on in to Primary all dressed up – his wife thought it was HILARIOUS). We had our Primary Secretary come up the front dressed in a green cloak with sword and shield and baby to hand, and she talked for 2 mins about one of her favourite scripture heroes. In a fortnight our Primary President will be dressing up to share her favourite scripture hero. The whole experience was just fantastic for the kids. It wasn’t all fun and games – we were mostly down to some serious learning of the song, but their attention was captured the entire time.
I am getting two jars, or a two sided box (with a divider in the middle) so I can put the children’s names in, then as they get a turn at being a ‘hero’ up the front, their name gets moved to the “I’ve had a turn” side, so everyone gets a turn.
There is a song in the LDS Children’s Songbook called “Fun to Do” on page 253 (can also be found here: ‘Singing a Song is Fun to Do’ lyrics and mp3)
The lyrics are:-
Sing-ing a song is fun to do,
Fun to do, to do, to do!
Sing-ing a song is fun to do,
To do, to do to do!
Definitely not hard for young children to learn – the lyrics are not difficult at all and the tune is quite catchy.
I taught it to our Primary last week, and promised that if they sang it well, I would bring along some percussion instruments to play along with the song today.
They sang well, and today I brought along a bag full of percussion intruments. I had 4 children up the front at a time and gave two children one instrument (e.g. bells) and the other two a different kind (e.g. claves), and we sang the song through twice singing “Playing the bells is fun to do” etc. The children had an absolute ball doing this, and they all got a turn of different instruments.
Whilst those children up the front were using the percussion instruments, I showed the children sitting down how to ‘air play’ percussion instruments. Ie. bells are a closed fist facing down, and you tap with your other hand. Cymbals are clapping your hands together. The triangle is your thumb extended and index finger pointing up, and tap with the index finger of your other hand. Claves involves tapping both your index fingers. The kids loved participating this way too.
I went and did a similar thing in Nursery today and the littlies just loved the instruments coming out of the bag. I think it was the most attention I’ve ever been paid by 18 month olds! I’m even more amazed that they banged/clanged/whacked perfectly in time!!!
Now, you don’t have to be in an LDS Primary to use this song or this idea. If you teach littles in a group, this would be a perfect attention grabber song for them. The bottom of the link above has some other actions the children can do if you choose.
I am helping out with our Ward’s Singing Time until the end of January as the Music Leader has gone to Hawaii (lucky her!!!). We were asked to do a Christmas musical item in Sacrament Meeting however only had 3 weeks to learn something. I chose to do a Medley of ‘When Joseph Went To Bethlehem’ and ‘He Sent His Son’ (same tonality and they had already learned ‘He Sent His Son’ for the Presentation). The task of learning ‘When Joseph…’ wasn’t too bad. The Seniors picked it up no problems, but the Juniors were having trouble with the second verse.
I decided to do this game with them (both Jnrs and Snrs) and it worked wonders.
You will need:-
- One die
- One white board marker
- One white board
- An enthusiastic bunch of kids and leaders
How to play:-
- Write up the words of the song you’re going to sing beforehand on the white board.
- Sing the words through a couple of times with the kids once so they are familiar with the words (I played this game the Sunday before they had to sing it – they had already been learning it for 2 weeks prior).
- Ask a child to come up and roll a die. I use a giant bouncy one, which adds to the fun. They all want a turn of it.
- If they roll a 3, rub out every third word (or third word of the verse you are working on). Roll a 6 – rub out ever 6th word etc. The problem is if someone rolls a 1. You would have to rub out EVERYTHING! That’s also part of the fun.
I was so amazed at how focused the children were, and the adults in the room. I love getting the teachers involved, and as I had asked them also to sing up the front with the kids, they were determined to learn the words as well.
Of course, this isn’t limited to just Church, you could use this idea:-
- in a classroom situation at school learning poetry
- learning a new song on a staff (use notes instead of words – and rub out the notes instead)