Sing a song over and over inviting the children to listen
Ask questions that are answered in the song
Use an attention getter
Wear a costume
Enter room as a character singing a new song
Invite a guest to dress up and play a part
Have children do role play
Use an interesting prop/object
Use a puppet with a different voice to introduce a new song to the
Tell a story about the composer and how they wrote this osng.
Play a guessing game
Play only the melody on the piano and hum along
Make pitch charts to show how each melody of the song moves up and down
Discuss the meaning of the song in an interesting way
Arrange the chairs differently
Have the children line up quietly and lead them to another room, outised,
or out one door and into another to introduce a new song
Use pictures to express key words/phrases
Use objects in place of pictures
Flannel Board figures
Make Large cardboard cut outs that correspond to the song with a face hole
cut out for children to hold up during a song
Chalkboard/dry erase board—write the words on the board to the whole
song, and write some WRONG. See if the kids can figure it out—and you sing
what is written--tell them you need their help to get it right
Write key words on chalkboard, and erase them as you learn them (eraser
Write words on board and intersperse with scrambled words written on paper
--let kids figure out what the words are
Write words on board and leave blanks—hide wordstrips under chairs—kids
help fill in blanks when you get to that line.
Erasure Pass Preparation: On the board are a list of words in groups of three. Each
distinct group includes one word from the song being taught and two words
that mean the same or opposite. Example: The song being taught is Seek the
Lord Early. I would choose SEEK as my first word and with it place the words
LOOK and SEARCH. My next group might be for the word YOUTH. With it
CHILDHOOD and ADOLESCENCE. Another group might be FATHER, MOTHER and HOLY
GHOST. Stand in front of the children and state the rules:
1: No talking,
2: No Throwing the eraser,
3: Give the eraser to someone who hasn't had it,
4: Erase only the words NOT in the song (we want the words that remain on
the board to be the words in the song in the order they appear in the song).
Hand the eraser to a child and start singing the song. DO NOT STOP SINGING.
You may go through the song 10+ times before all the wrong words are erased.
The children them come up one at a time and erase one word not in the song.
Teachers may help non-readers, or you may need to prompt when few words are
left. Make sure you keep the rules in effect. If a child erases a wrong word,
be prepared to write it back on without stopping your singing. After all the
wrong words are erased, have the children sing only the words on the board.
Then switch and have them sing all the words except the ones on the board.
Overhead projector and transparencies
Pictures from the library or another collection of pictures
Ask them questions that encourage them to listen carefully while they hear
it those three times.
Clap the rhythm with them. (Friend had great idea tell them they’re your
mirrors and they have to do whatever you do). Use two fingers and the palm
of your hand if it is to loud.
One hand tapping the rhythm while other hand taps the beat
I like to print the actual song onto an overhead and then teach the kids a
little music theory too.
With the older kids a simple and I think a way they like the best is to
just write the song out on a chalkboard or on strips of cut up poster board
and then let them pick to remove a word or group of words after each time
you sing. If their singing gets weak then stop removing and go over it a
little more. Sometimes I’ll let them erase the word they’ve picked to
erase throughout the entire song for instance if they choose to erase “the”
then they get to erase every “the”.
Introduce a new song in a different way: CD Player—play song to
introduce it, Guest musician (someone’s mom/dad), Class sings OR Teach the
song to a class first or maybe the cub scouts or achievement day girls and
then have them sing it to the primary first to introduce it.
Define words and terms to them. Make sure the kids know why they’re
singing what they’re singing. If they understand the message they’ll
sing it with greater love and enthusiasm.
Bear your testimony about the message of the song. The spirit works
Word for the day: okay I grew up when Peewee’s Playhouse was on TV and
he had a word for the day and if anybody said it they’d yell. So I took
this idea and twisted it. We pick a word like love or prophet, etc. and when
we sing that word the kids have to stand up. It keeps us all on our toes.
Heads or Tails—I had phrases from the song we had been working on
written down on slips of paper. The kids would pick a phrase out of a bowl
and then we flipped a coin if it was heads the kids had to sing the next
line in the song and if it was tails they had to sing the previous line.
This really helped them drill the song into their heads.
Record different kids singing a line from different songs. Have musical
notes that have either the kid’s names or a picture of them on it. Play
the tape of the first song. Stop the tape and have a child decide who sang
that song. Then have the whole primary sing the song. This is fun for mother
or father’s day too. Have the mom or dad sing the line and then have the
kids decide whose mom or dad that is.
The Mr. Slinky is just a little slinky that you use and the kids have to
watch you. As you make the slinky longer, they sing louder, as your
make it shorter, they sing softer.
I sometimes play the “If you can hear put your hand on…..”game to
get them ready for closing Exercises, but I used these actions, saying no
words, playing no music, just singing in my mind and doing the actions, They
caught on a eventually had them all doing the actions as the seniors didn’t
know them then, then they caught on and started to sing the words.
Rhythm Wands/Windwands/Scarfs I bought a bolt of material at a sale really Cheap! I cut it into
squares. Each child gets a square or scarf. You paint with the scarf by
moving them through the air. Such as: move it gently, it’s so gentle just
like this song & just like Jesus.
Leading the music (you can use an elephant—Eddie Elephant--and have
their arms be the trunk and lead with the trunk of the elephant)
Hold up a sign and everyone has to switch seats to a new seat
Sing a Vision (a box with a screen cut out, and dials, with pictures that
go with the song)
Stand Up each time a word is said
Rhythms—shakers, sand paper blocks, clap 2 fingers, etc.
ASL (sign language)
Kids Draw the visual aids for the song
Cooking Up a song--
kitchen containers, a mixing bowl and spoon, and an apron. Tell the kids that
we were cooking up a song. I had a volunteer put on the apron and choose a
container (empty cool whip, etc.) and add the "ingredient" to our
mixing bowl. Each container has a slip of paper that says either line 1,2,3,or
4. While they are stirring, we have to sing that line 5 times to help it cook.
Believe it or not, this really worked. They all wanted a turn, and I told them
lots of stuff about how their singing helps it to cook. You decide which order
to put the ingreds. Into the mix!
Magicians Hat—pull out things to do with the song/questions for the song
Tennis Ball face—cut a 2 in. slit in a tennis ball for a mouth, use
black marker to make eyes above the slit. When you squeeze the sides it
opens the mouth and makes him sing with you. Also can remind kids to open
their mouth WIDE on vowel sounds.
Funny-Face pictures of musical sounds (“ooo” “ahh” “ohh” “hum”
“la-la” “words” “ee”) When learning the tune to a new song, flip
every few measures through the booklet and have the kids sing these sounds
for fun. Let them exaggerate the facial expression and sound.
Clap/snap/stomp Use it individually or with partners “Can your hands follow my hands?”
Or use body rhythm pattern such as clap, clap snap, snap, stomp stomp.
Partner Rhythm pattern such as patsch (pat thighs), clap, cross touch to
Dancing singers Have a group of about 8 children come up to front. Make a circle. Go
around in a circle, stepping up tall on one beat and down low on the next
and so on. Really fun for “Truth of Elijah”.