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Monday, October 22, 2018

Music for Singing Time 2019

Curriculum for singing time for 2019 is now available!  You can check it all out HERE.

There are now 3 suggested songs for each month!  How wonderful!  If you want to teach all 3, you can.  If you want to focus on 1, you can!  Options are so wonderful!  You decide what works best for you and your primary and go from there.

Here are a few of my personal thoughts in order to try and fit it all in while keeping my sanity!

After discussing it with the primary presidency, I've chosen one of the suggested songs for the months January - September that will be presented at the program (the program is suggested to be in the last quarter of the year - my preference being the end of October).  I made my choice based on what our primary knows LEAST, (or that I've never taught before) in order to bring in more variety to singing time (my choices are below).  I've also incorporated 1 hymn (1st verse only).

For the other 2 suggested songs, I will be treating them like an opening song that we'll rotate singing every other week during that month.  I would prefer that they are sung at the beginning of opening exercises, before the prayer if possible.  But if not, I'll sing them at the very beginning when I start singing time.

With this arrangement, I'll still be able to keep up my current rotation of 2 weeks working on program songs, 1 week singing something seasonal or holiday (which a lot of times we need to prepare something to sing in sacrament meeting like on Mother's Day, Father's Day, Easter, etc.) and 1 week to review the songs we've learned for the year.  All while singing everything that has been suggested. It's a win, win!  You can find more information on my monthly scheduling HERE.

For our primary's Christmas gift this December, I will also create a CD with ALL of the suggested songs.  See what I've done in years past HERE.  This way I'll be able to get all the songs to the kids, helping them to sing them at home.

October is typically program review so the suggested songs will most likely be treated as opening songs each week.  Then November and December I'll again sing the suggested songs as opening songs and teach seasonal the rest of the time.

Below, I've gone through some of the information and found relatable lesson plans throughout my blog, hoping it's helpful.  I've bolded and marked the songs with an (*) that I'm tentatively planning to teach for the 2019 program.

“Come, Follow Me,” Hymns, no. 116 - find my lesson plan HERE
“A Child’s Prayer,” Children’s Songbook, 12–13 - find my lesson plan HERE
“Jesus Once Was a Little Child,” Children’s Songbook, 55* more to come this year!

“Baptism,” Children’s Songbook, 100–101 - find my lesson plan HERE*
“I Will Follow God’s Plan,” Children’s Songbook, 164–65 - find my lesson plan HERE
“He Sent His Son,” Children’s Songbook, 34–35 - find my lesson plan HERE

“I’m Trying to Be like Jesus,” Children’s Songbook, 78–79 - find my lesson plan HERE
“Did You Think to Pray?” Hymns, no. 140
“Tell Me the Stories of Jesus,” Children’s Songbook, 57 - find my lesson plan HERE*

“Faith,” Children’s Songbook, 96–97 - find my lesson plan HERE
“I Feel My Savior’s Love,” Children’s Songbook, 74–75* more to come this year!
“Jesus Has Risen,” Children’s Songbook, 70

“Keep the Commandments,” Children’s Songbook, 146–47 - find my lesson plan HERE*
“Families Can Be Together Forever,” Children’s Songbook, 188 - find my lesson plan HERE
“I Am a Child of God,” Children’s Songbook, 2–3 - find my lesson plan HERE

“Love One Another,” Children’s Songbook, 136–37
“Behold the Great Redeemer Die,” Hymns, no. 191
“Did Jesus Really Live Again?” Children’s Songbook, 64* more to come this year!

“Stand for the Right,” Children’s Songbook, 159 - find my lesson plan HERE
“I’ll Walk with You,” Children’s Songbook, 140–41* more to come this year!
“I Know My Father Lives,” Children’s Songbook, 5

“When I Am Baptized,” Children’s Songbook, 103 - find my lesson plan HERE
“The Holy Ghost,” Children’s Songbook, 105 - find my lesson plan HERE
“The Lord Gave Me a Temple,” Children’s Songbook, 153* - find my lesson plan HERE

“When We’re Helping,” Children’s Songbook, 198
“A Child’s Prayer,” Children’s Songbook, 12–13 - find my lesson plan HERE
“I Know That My Redeemer Lives,” Hymns, no. 136* more to come this year!

“When He Comes Again,” Children’s Songbook, 82–83 - find my lesson plan HERE
“The Church of Jesus Christ,” Children’s Songbook, 77 - find my lesson plan HERE
“I Love to See the Temple,” Children’s Songbook, 95 - find my lesson plan HERE

“Search, Ponder, and Pray,” Children’s Songbook, 109 - find my lesson plan HERE
“Tell Me, Dear Lord,” Children’s Songbook, 176
“Kindness Begins with Me,” Children’s Songbook, 145

“My Heavenly Father Loves Me,” Children’s Songbook, 228–29 - find my lesson plan HERE
“Choose the Right Way,” Children’s Songbook, 160–61
“When I Am Baptized,” Children’s Songbook, 103 - find my lesson plan HERE

I LOVE that I don't have very many repeat songs that I've taught before!  I'm on a mission to sing most of the Children's Songbook before it gets changed!!  And this will help SO SO much!!

Okay, on to more suggestions found in the Instructions for Singing Time...there are activities suggested to help you teach doctrine as well as the music.  I've gone through my blog and found a few activities where I've demonstrated those suggestions (or similar ones).  For a complete list of my entire blog, check out my Song Index tab HERE and Review Activities tab HERE.

Using Music to Teach Doctrine

Read related scriptures: For many of the songs in the Children’s Songbook and the hymnbook, references to related scriptures are listed. Help the children read some of these passages, and talk about how the scriptures are related to the song. You could also list a few scripture references on the board and invite the children to match each reference to a song or a verse from a song.

Fill in the blank: Write a verse of the song on the board with several key words missing. Then ask the children to sing the song, listening for the words that fill in the blanks. As they fill in each blank, discuss what gospel principles you learn from the missing words.

Quotations from Church leaders: Invite the children to listen to a quotation from a Church leader that teaches the same gospel principle as the Primary song. Ask them to raise their hand when they hear something that helps them understand the truth they are singing about. Ask them to share what they heard.

Testify: Bear brief testimony to the children of gospel truths found in the Primary song. Help the children understand that singing is one way they can bear testimony and feel the Spirit.  

[I try to conclude every singing time with a BRIEF testimony of what I've been teaching]

Stand as a witness: Invite children to take turns standing and sharing what they learn from the song they are singing or how they feel about the truths taught in the song. Ask them how they feel as they sing the song, and help them identify the influence of the Holy Ghost.

Use pictures: Ask the children to help you find or create pictures that go with important words or phrases in the song. Invite them to share how the pictures relate to the song and what the song teaches. For example, if you are teaching the song “I Will Follow God’s Plan” (Children’s Songbook, 164–65), you could put pictures throughout the room depicting important words from the song (such as gift, heaven, home, earth, and birth). Ask the children to gather the pictures and hold them up in the correct order as you sing the song together.

Share an object lesson: You could use an object to inspire discussion about a song. For example, the song “Faith” (Children’s Songbook, 96–97) mentions a little seed. You could show the children a seed and talk about how we show faith when we plant a seed; this could lead to a discussion about ways we show faith in Jesus Christ, as described in the song.

Invite sharing of personal experiences: Help the children connect the principles taught in the song with experiences they have had with those principles. For example, before singing “I Love to See the Temple” (Children’s Songbook, 95), you could ask the children to raise their hands if they have seen a temple. Invite them to think as they sing about how they feel when they see a temple.

Ask questions: Ask the children to listen for answers to questions in song lyrics. This can lead to a discussion about the truths taught in the song. There are many questions you can ask as you sing songs. For example, you can ask the children what they learn from each verse in the song. You can also ask them to think of questions that the song answers.

Listen for answers: Ask the children to listen for answers to questions such as “who?” “what?” “where?” “when?” or “why?” For example, in the song “Baptism” (Children’s Songbook, 100–101), they could listen for who baptized Jesus and where, when, how, and why He was baptized. You could also ask the children to listen for key words or to count on their fingers how many times they sing a certain word.

Helping Children Learn and Remember Primary Songs

Children learn a song by hearing and singing it over and over again. Always sing the words of a new song to the children—don’t just read or recite them. This helps the children connect the melody to the words. After a song is taught, review it in a variety of fun ways throughout the year. Below are some ideas to help children learn and review songs:

Create posters: Display posters with the words from each verse or pictures that represent the words. As the children sing, cover up some of the words or pictures until they can sing the entire verse without the poster. You can also invite the children to help you create the posters.

Demonstrate the pitch: To help children learn the melody of a song, hold your hand in a horizontal position, and as you sing the words, move your hand up to indicate higher pitches and down to indicate lower pitches.

Echo: Invite the children to be your echo by repeating what you sing. Sing to the children a short phrase or a line, and then have them sing it back to you.

Use variation: Sing songs in a variety of ways, such as whispering, humming, clapping the beat, varying the tempo, or singing while sitting or standing. You could also make a cube out of paper and, on each side of the cube, write a different way to sing. Invite a child to roll the cube to decide how the children will sing the song.

Using Handbells in Primary (my FAVORITE!!)

Sing in groups: Give each class or individual one phrase to sing while standing, and then have them exchange phrases until each class or individual has had a turn singing each phrase.

Use hand actions: Invite the children to think of simple hand actions to help them remember the words and messages of a song. For example, when you sing the second verse of “My Heavenly Father Loves Me” (Children’s Songbook, 228–29), you could invite the children to point to their eyes, act like butterflies, and cup their hands behind their ears. Ask them to place their hands on their hearts as they sing “Yes, I know Heavenly Father loves me.”

Girls sing, boys sing: Draw a picture of a boy and a picture of a girl, and glue or tape the pictures onto separate sticks. While reviewing a song, hold up one of the pictures to indicate who should sing that part of the song.

Basket toss: Place numbered baskets or other containers at the front of the room—as many containers as there are verses of a particular song. Invite one of the children to toss a beanbag or crumpled piece of paper into or near a numbered container. Have the children sing the verse with the same number as the container.

Match a picture to a phrase: Write each line of a song on a different piece of paper, and find a picture that represents each line. Place the pictures on one side of the room and the papers on the other side. Sing the song, and ask the children to match the pictures to the words.

Search, Ponder & Pray

This will be an exciting year with all the changes!  I'll be posting lesson plans for as many of the suggested songs as I can so stay tuned!!

Monday, October 15, 2018

The Church of Jesus Christ

With all this re-enforcement on using the church's correct name, now would be a FANTASTIC time to teach/review the song The Church of Jesus Christ.  Especially if your program is finished!

This song is a top favorite in my primary!  Especially the 2nd part!  Did you know there is a 2nd part to this song written by the same composer, Janice Kapp Perry?  It's SO FUN!!  Your kids will LOVE it!  Turns something old into something new again!

Check out details HERE.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Program Review OR Singing Missionaries

If you are finished with your program and looking for a fun singing time, try my Singing Missionaries lesson plan HERE.  It coincides with this month's theme, "I Will Share the Gospel with All of God's Children."

You can also check out all of my after-the-program lesson plans HERE.

As for our primary, we will be reviewing our program in the primary room.  I'm planning on finishing up with our ribbon box, find details HERE.

Next week we'll be in the chapel.  Find my review helps HERE.

Share your favorite after-the-program activities if you have any!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Changes in Primary!!

So...HUGE changes coming to primary!  I'm so excited!!  Change is always good...and hard...but REALLY good!!  Our church leaders are so inspired as to prep us for this change for the last few years with focusing on an increase in our sabbath day observance.

If you missed the announcement at General Conference, find details HERE.  In a nutshell, beginning January 2019, Sunday meetings will now be 2 hours.  60 minutes for Sacrament Meeting, 10 minutes for transition and 50 minutes for adult/youth/primary classes:

Primary will divide the 50 minutes with 5 minutes for opening exercises, 20 minutes for singing time and 25 minutes for class time (if you have a split Jr. and Sr. primaries then the 25 minutes for each half will rotate).  More details can be found HERE.

With the new schedule, it appears that singing time is the only class that wasn't drastically reduced!  I don't know about you, but it appears that singing time must be pretty important!

A few years ago, our stake participated in a pilot of Come Follow Me and we studied a portion of the Book of Mormon for 6 months, from January - June.  It was a very spiritual time for our stake, my family and me!  My family and I had never studied the scriptures so thoroughly and intently.  Then to have it all reinforced at church made our time spent there so worthwhile and meaningful!  When the pilot was over, we a hard time transitioning back to the old curriculum.

Since we piloted the program on a 3-hour block schedule, sharing time simply taught from the same curriculum as primary classes.  There was quite a bit of overlap but we managed.  I can see now why they decided to do away with sharing time with the new curriculum, it's unnecessary.  The only directive in the Come Follow Me pilot for music was 2 songs that were suggested we sing each week.  I simply picked one to sing as an opening song then kept teaching that year's Children's Sacrament Meeting Presentation songs knowing we'd need to have a program ready by October after we completed the pilot program.

After we completed the Come Follow Me pilot, we were asked for feedback.  My only concern as the music leader was singing time.  There really was no directive on what to do.  Were we to learn 2 songs every week to present at a primary program at the end of the year?  That seemed a bit (okay...completely!) daunting! Or were the songs merely suggestions that correlated with the lessons to incorporate as an opening song if we wanted?  Anyway, I still had questions about how to handle singing time with Come Follow Me.

From what I understand, singing time curriculum is still yet to come.  So my questions are not quite answered yet.  When singing time curriculum is posted, it will be HERE.  We know we will be teaching music and songs that reenforce what is being taught in Come Follow Me curriculum which can all be found HERE.

The Come Follow Me curriculum does contain songs posted almost each week that correlate with the lesson.   Allison posted on FB HERE a list of all the songs that are suggested in the Come Follow Me and put them into a wonderful spreadsheet that she shared.  You can find her spreadsheet HERE.  Thank you Allison for doing all that work!!

Sounds like we can use these songs during singing time if we like in addition to the singing time curriculum that will eventually be posted.

UPDATE: Music for Singing Time 2019 has been posted HERE!  I'll have a follow up post soon on this material!!

So on to what we do know...opening exercises will be 5 minutes complete with an opening prayer, scripture or Article of Faith and a talk.  Don't let that 5 minutes of opening exercises turn into 20 minutes of announcements!  My thought is to try and squeeze as much singing into that 5 minutes as we possibly can!!  The kids have 10 minutes to transition to classes but we all know it doesn't take all of them 10 minutes to get there so why not utilize that transition time and sing??

I would like to see this time used to welcome kids to primary! We'll call them "transition songs!" Lately I've been working my way through all the welcome songs in the songbook.  Stand at the door and greet each child as you and the pianist play and sing a few welcome songs or do a few activities associated with each welcome song!  You can find my list HERE (that I plan on adding to).

After the opening prayer,  I would definitely suggesting singing an Article of Faith song or scripture song (Books in the New Testament for starters!).  See how I teach the Article of Faith songs HERE.

Birthday songs will be cut - bummer.

Then during singing time, if possible, I would love to be able to at least sing a few of the suggested songs for the week in Come Follow Me, posting words as necessary like I do HERE either before moving on to the singing time curriculum or doing it at the end of singing time.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that the Come Follow Me weekly song suggestions will be very-well interconnected to the singing time material.  But only time will tell!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Hello, Friends!

Hello, Friends! is a fun and simple song to sing to visitors!  Have your visitors shake hands with the primary as the primary sings the song.  Challenge the visitors to shake everyone's hand before the song ends!  You'll never have your visitors awkwardly standing up front with this fun song!!

Make sure to post the words until the song becomes more familiar.  See how I do that HERE.

It also doubles as a fun wiggle song!  Pick any kids to shake hands with the rest of the primary while you sing!  Find more details on my Wiggle Worm Jar HERE.

Check out all of my welcome songs HERE.

Monday, October 1, 2018

October 2018 Singing Time Schedule

See how I use my singing time schedule HERE!  Then download an editable and printable version of the below information HERE or use my October 2018 Singing Time Planner found HERE.

I know primary schedules are all different this month (and next!) with programs scheduled on various Sundays.  So I've tried to incorporate LOTS of ideas of what to do if you are finished reviewing for your program OR if you have lots of time until your program and you want to branch out from reviewing.

This month I'll be implementing a new welcome song, Hello, Friends!  Check out details for singing that to visitors HERE.

Singing Time Schedule
October 2018


October 14th:
Opening song: I Will Be Valiant p. 162
Scripture song: The Eleventh Article of Faith p. 130
Birthday song:  Feliz Cumpleanos p. 282
Welcome song: Hello, Friends! p. 254
Singing Time: Program Review: I Am a Child of God p. 2, My Heavenly Father Loves Me p. 228, If the Savior Stood Beside Me – 2018 outline, On a Golden Springtime p. 88, Book of Mormon Stories p. 118, When I Am Baptized p. 103, Families Can Be Together Forever p. 188, A Child’s Prayer p. 12
Activity: Review program in primary room.  Finish cutting ribbons from Treasure Box.  Find details HERE

October 21st:
Opening song: Shine On p. 144
Scripture song: The Eleventh Article of Faith p. 130
Birthday song:  Feliz Cumpleanos p. 282
Welcome song: Hello, Friends p. 254
Singing Time: Program Review: I Am a Child of God p. 2, My Heavenly Father Loves Me p. 228, If the Savior Stood Beside Me – 2018 outline, On a Golden Springtime p. 88, Book of Mormon Stories p. 118, When I Am Baptized p. 103, Families Can Be Together Forever p. 188, A Child’s Prayer p. 12
Activity:  Review program in chapel.  Use balloon, find details HERE

October 28th: PROGRAM
Opening song: The Church of Jesus Christ p. 77
Scripture song: The Eleventh Article of Faith p. 130
Birthday song:  Feliz Cumpleanos p. 282
Welcome song: Hello, Friends p. 254
Singing Time: Hinges p. 277
Activity:  Find details HERE

Make sure to check out all of my after-the-program singing time ideas HERE.  My most popular is Primary Memory.

Or October is all about missionary work.  I have a Singing Missionaries singing time lesson plan HERE that's really fun and simple!

If you used my Treasure Hunt review, I'd HIGHLY suggest Primary Battleship!  Singing a few primary songs about water:

Give Said the Little Stream
The Prophet Said to Plant a Garden
The Wise Man and the Foolish Man
Oh, What Do You Do in the Summertime?
Rain is Falling All Around
My Heavenly Father Loves Me
All Things Bright And Beautiful
When Jesus Christ Was Baptized
When I Am Baptized
Tell Me the Stories of Jesus
Book of Mormon Stories
Nephi's Courage

Find more details HERE on FB or rules are "each song has a color and each "hit" is a verse. If they get a hit we will review that song and verse they hit."

Find the printables HERE or you can download them HERE if you aren't on Facebook.  To simplify the poster board, simply draw the grid on the chalkboard! And for almost NO prep, just decide ahead of time where you want the songs/verses to go and use chalk for everything including your hits and your misses!

If you really want to look ahead, I've got TONS of Thanksgiving singing time ideas HERE.

And Christmas is all HERE!

I'm planning on LOTS of handbells this year so if you want to follow along, make sure you get your primary a set.  Find details HERE.

Welcome to my favorite time of year in singing time!!

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Treasure Island - Treasure Hunt Program Review

This Sunday is my last week of my Treasure Hunt Program Review (find more details HERE) and we're heading to Treasure Island with a treasure box as my grand finale! 

The treasure box works great as it's own review as well if you aren't doing the Treasure Hunt.  I've stuffed 2 boxes (one for Jr. and one for Sr.) full of Ring Pops that I bought at Sam's Club.

With these song tags...

You can download my tags HERE.  I printed on regular paper and cut out.

Or blank ones HERE.

I didn't have brown paper and thought the brown shoe box sufficed so I just printed this sheet to cover up the Reebox logo ;).  Download it HERE if it helps.

To use it in primary is pretty simple.  Just cut the ribbons as the kids sing each song to their best ability.

I'm thinking of not finish cutting all the ribbons this Sunday and just pulling it out as we practice the program over the next few weeks in the primary room and chapel.  I'll rig it so we open it the Sunday after our program to reveal our treasure!

Check out my program helps for chapel review HERE.

If you're looking for ideas for after your program, check out my posts HERE.  I'll also have my October Singing Time Schedule posted soon!

I think we'll be playing Primary Battleship the Sunday of our program to finish out our ship theme!  More to come!