Thursday, October 20, 2016

Primary Music Memory

Just a few more weeks until we start bringing on all the fall/Thanksgiving and Christmas songs - WOOT WOOT!! (if you want a head start, you can find my Thanksgiving activities all HERE and my Christmas all HERE!)

This week I'll be pulling out the annual after-the-program favorite...Primary Music Memory.  Find details HERE.

What's your favorite activity when your program is over?

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Singing Time AFTER the Program

Nothing quite like being the main attraction for all of sacrament meeting then heading off and doing it again for 2 more hours, right?  Sunday is our sacrament meeting presentation and for primary afterward, our presidency has planned a "program party" complete with church videos, snacks and of course....dun, dun, dun...singing!

Since the last thing I really want to do is prep a ton for singing time, I'm pulling out my primary's absolute favorites:  Stump the primary & Nursery bag in primary.  Gratefully, both of these activities are super SIMPLE - hooray!

Stump the primary is for Sr. and the absolutely LOVE it.  Find details HERE.

Then Jr. primary never seems to tire of my trusty ol' Nursery bag.  Find details HERE.

Check out my list of simple review games that will work with ANY song HERE in case you need some more ideas.  Pick some favorite classics or seasonal songs and you can easily have a great singing time all with low-prep!

Good luck to anyone whose program is tomorrow, congratulations to those of you who have finished, and to those of you still gearing up for your program, I'm sure the day can't come fast enough ;).

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Road Trip Review - Treat Topper

This week is our primary's last practice before our program next week.  You can find my chapel practice helps HERE.  I'll be SO happy to have the program finished next week!

Then next Sunday, after the program, we will be handing out little treats to all the kids.  We've chosen animal crackers from Costco that we will be putting into sandwich size ziplock baggies and attaching the following treat topper:
Download my document HERE.  Black and white copies from the library will totally suffice too :).  There is space on the back of each topper to optionally write each child a personal thank you note too.  Kind of a fun way to end my Road Trip Review we've been working so hard to complete (find details HERE) and tell the kids thank you.

I haven't put our primary's together but they will look like this:

If you are lucky enough to be finished with your program and are asking yourself, "now what?!?" check out my After-the-Program posts HERE.  My personal favorite for the day of the program is Primary Music Memory HERE or a church video ;).

Friday, September 30, 2016

Stake Primary Music Training

I was recently asked to teach at our Stake Primary Training meeting.  I thought I'd post here what I shared at that meeting for anyone who is interested.  DISCLAIMER:  if you are looking for new information, I'm really sorry...everything I taught is already found throughout my blog.  This is just kind of a catch-all.  I wish I had some brand new information to disclose but alas, it's just my tried and true information that I'm just reiterating.

I took a wagon load full of resources and visuals with me.  I was quite the site...

I passed out a handout (found HERE) that I've spelled out below with links on my blog where you can find more information about each item.  As part of my training, I was asked to help all the choristers in my stake teach next year's theme song (As a Child of God) to the rest of the group who were in attendance at the meeting.  The 2nd page of my handout are details on how I taught it to the choristers in our stake.


How to Teach a Song (Find more details on this information HERE)
KNOW the song (listen to it, play on the piano, etc)
Repetition through variety is critical for not burning out (you or the kids)
(asl/actions/movement/puppets/pictures/echoing/rhythm instruments, etc.) (find all my lesson plans to all the songs I've taught HERE)
Bear testimony
Pray – know that this is a very DIFFICULT calling

Staying Organized
Monthly Outline (find details HERE)

Binder (including posting words) (find details HERE)

When Teaching (supply caddy, choosing sticks) (find details HERE and HERE)

Scheduling your month: (find details HERE)
2 weeks each month on learning the program songs
1 week each month on reviewing the songs learned for the year
1 week each month on a holiday/season/event, non-program related
Scheduling your 20 minutes:
1 – 5 min: scripture song (Articles of Faith, Books in the …, etc.)
5 – 10 min: wiggle worm jar/nursery bag (find details HERE and HERE)
10 – 15 min: lesson plan

Children’s Sacrament Meeting Program outline (find details HERE)

Conducting Course (available at (find details HERE)

A Children’s Songbook Companion – Pat Graham Workshop every January (find details HERE)

LDS Primary Choristers group on FB (find details HERE)

Gospel Art Book – take it apart! (find details HERE)

Chalkboard – you can tweak almost any activity to only involve the chalkboard (find details HERE) (New Chorister’s tab) (find details HERE)

Suggested Props
Nursery Bag (not just for nursery!) (find details HERE)

Wiggle Worm Jar (find details HERE)

Hand Bells (find details HERE)

Primary Music CD (Christmas gift to the kids for the upcoming year) (find details HERE)

Common Issues
Reverence (not just the kids) – don’t be afraid to put away the activity & just sit (find my Reverence Eggs HERE as a suggestion)

Not getting full 20 minutes – go before the sharing time lesson
Substitutes – utilize the stake primary music leader & presidency

2017 Singing Time Schedule
JANUARY – As a Child of God (suggested lesson plan HERE)

FEBRUARY – Choose the Right (suggested lesson plan HERE)

MARCH – Stand for the Right (suggested lesson plan HERE) (I will be teaching Dare to do Right instead this year - more to come!)

APRIL – (your choice) Had I Been a Child (suggested lesson plan HERE)

MAY – When I Am Baptized (suggested lesson plan HERE)

JUNE – Nephi’s Courage (suggested lesson plan HERE)

JULY – (your choice) Every Star is Different (suggested lesson plan HERE)

AUGUST – I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus (suggested lesson plan HERE)

Lesson Plan for teaching the 1st verse to As a Child of God:
simplified ASL YouTube Video:  (find details HERE)

Each chorister was to learn the simplified ASL associated with the phrase and teach it to the group: (I printed the below phrases HERE for each chorister to place around their neck using a string or to pin to their chest)

I came to earth
(sign notes)________________________________________________________

with power to choose
(sign notes)________________________________________________________

good choices bless me 
(sign notes)________________________________________________________

and my family 
(sign notes)________________________________________________________

as a child of  God
(sign notes)________________________________________________________

I receive special light
(sign notes)________________________________________________________

the Holy Ghost helps me 
(sign notes)________________________________________________________

to know what is right 
(sign notes)________________________________________________________

As the ASL was gradually presented to the group, the phrases were put away as the song was beginning to be memorized.

I gave each chorister a dozen shaker eggs HERE to add to their primary's singing time collection.

If you have ever taught music at a stake primary meeting, I'd love for you to share your details!!

Friday, September 23, 2016

October 2016 Singing Time Schedule

See how I use my singing time schedule HERE!  Then download an editable and printable version of the below information HERE.

Singing Time Schedule
October 2016


October 9th:
Opening song:  I Am a Child of God p. 2
Scripture song:  The Books in the Book of Mormon p. 119
Birthday song:  Your Happy Birthday p. 283
Welcome song:  We Welcome you p. 256
Singing Time:  Program practice in chapel
Activity:  Find my program practice helps HERE

October 16th:  PRIMARY PROGRAM
Opening song:  I Pray in Faith p. 14
Scripture song:  The Books in the Book of Mormon p. 119
Birthday song:  Your Happy Birthday p. 283
Welcome song:  We Welcome you p. 256
Singing Time:  child’s choices / wiggle worm jar (time permitting)
Activity:  After the program, our primary will be eating a primary treat (more to come!), reviewing our comment cards (find them HERE), viewing a church video and, time permitting, playing Stump the Primary in Sr. (find it HERE) and our Wiggle Worm Jar in Jr. (find it HERE)

October 23rd:
Opening song:  If With All Your Hearts p. 15
Scripture song:  The Books in the Book of Mormon p. 119
Birthday song:  Your Happy Birthday p. 283
Welcome song:  We Welcome you p. 256
Singing Time: Families Can Be Together Forever p. 188; Give Said the Little Stream p. 236, Head Shoulders Knees and Toes p. 275, The Church of Jesus Christ p. 77, I Hope They Call Me on a Mission p. 169, I Love to See the Temple p. 95, Oh What Do You Do In the Summertime p. p. 245, Once There Was a Snowman p. 249, Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus p. 36, Teach Me To Walk in the Light p. 177, Tell Me the Stories of Jesus p. 57, The Books in the Book of Mormon p. 118, The Prophet Said to Plant a Garden p. 237, The Wise Man and the Foolish Man p. 281 We'll Bring the World His Truth  p. 172
Activity: Primary Music Memory HERE

October 30th:
Opening song:  A Child’s Prayer p. 12
Scripture song:  The Books in the Book of Mormon p. 119
Birthday song:  Your Happy Birthday p. 283
Welcome song:  We Welcome you p. 256
Singing Time:  Hinges p. 277
Activity: find it HERE

Road Trip Review - Spiritual Point

I'm continuing on to the 3rd leg of my Road Trip Review this week with my Spiritual Point stop (find poster details HERE, Word City stop HERE and Dynamics Zone stop HERE)...

Our primary will be running through the entire program for 2 Sundays during both primary hour blocks.  This Sunday will be a casual run-thru in the primary room where kids will simply come up and speak their parts in the microphone and we'll sing the songs as outlined in our program.  I'll have the poster hung on the chalkboard and simply move the vehicles as we sing each song throughout our practice.  I'll make it a point to have the kids practice standing and sitting together, eyes on me, being reverent as they sing and doing their best to invite the spirit.

Then the week after General Conference we will basically do the same run-thru but in the chapel.  I won't be bringing in the poster.  But I will be bringing in Mr. Smiley balloon:

I've had trouble finding these in stores (which is usually late Saturday night, ugh!) so I went ahead and ordered this one from Amazon.  I'll take it to a local party store to have it filled with helium the night before and have it attached to a LONG (long enough to touch the chapel ceiling) ribbon.  Find more details HERE on using it (along with a few other tips)!

As a little treat for the day of the program, I'm planning on serving (ha!) animal crackers that I'm going to simply put in a sandwich-sized ziplock baggie and staple a little topper that incorporates my road theme.  Something like this that was shared with me:

More to come on that!  I'll have the poster out with all the vehicles placed at the destination program and make sure to congratulate the kids on a job well done!  As they eat their snack, we'll read the comment cards from the congregation (find them HERE) and most likely have a post-program party complete with a church video and Primary Music Memory HERE.

Then on to my favorite time of year!!  The time where we get to sing whatever we want!!  You can check out all of my after-the-program posts HERE for ideas!

Phew!  Never a dull moment with singing time!!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Road Trip Review - Dynamics Zone

I'm continuing on with my Road Trip Review activity found HERE.  Next up is the "Dynamics Zone" (find my first stop, "Word City" activity HERE).  For this stop, I wanted to incorporate various road signs that had musical markings on them.  Just like driving, music gives us signs and symbols that show us how the music is to be sung.

Here are the various signs I created:

You can download these pages HERE.  Cut them out and before primary, simply hang them around the Road Trip Review poster.  (If you want to go super simple, draw all these in with chalk!).

Then for the activity, sing the songs, focusing on different musical notation areas to help put the feeling into the songs (very similar to my activity HERE).  Unify breathing using slurs and breath marks (only breathing at the end of phrases - follow the conductor!).  Go from soft (piano) to loud (forte) where appropriate and use crescendo and decrescendo to get there - I like to sing the 3rd verse of If I Listen With My Heart softly then louder on the chorus.

Also fun is to bring in a metronome to check the tempo of the song (I'm sure there are LOTS of aps too!).

Anyway, a very simple way to focus on taking the performance of the song to the next level.  Next week 2 weeks will be our "Spiritual Point" stop where we'll be running through our whole program.  Find some of my program helps HERE.

I'm hoping to have a little handout/treat to pass out to all the kids the day of our program that will be road-related somehow.  More to come!

If you are looking for something to do in primary the day of the program, check out my easy and low-prep Primary Music Memory HERE.