Workshop Sept 2004
(notes by Shauna in
The theme was: Songs of the Heart.
Objective: To help music leaders
understand how teaching the Primary songs can help lock the gospel principles
into the children’ hearts.
teach a song
- Know the Song
- Sing the Words—Children learn better by
listening than by reading. Teach by rote—hear it then sing it.
We know the words to Primary songs because they’re learned by rote.
Hymns are read so we don’t know them as well.
- Direct the children’s listening using
questions (Using I Believe in Christ as the example, each prompt is a line
in the song)
a. Listen for another name for Christ. Sing first line… Now
sing, emphasizing the name
b. Listen for how I sing to Him… When you hear the answer, put your
hand on your heart.
c. Listen to the melody. Does it go up or down? Show up or down
with your hand. Now sing it with me. Increase your voices as the
melody goes up.
d. Listen for words meaning offering praise or prayer. Sing the line
with me. Now sing the last 2 lines together
e. If you had written this hymn, what would you have titled it?
f. Everyone slump over in chair for one line. “We didn’t sound
very good, did we? The song says to be sung enthusiastically. If
I use small movements with my arm, use soft voices. If I make larger
arm movements, use larger voices. Remember to never sing louder than
- “Teach me to Walk” She put
Isaiah 2:5 up on the board. She prompted us, “Remember the scripture
we talked about in Sharing Time? What is a song we could sing that
sings of this principle? “Teach me to Walk” Listen and count
how many times we sing light and teach . After you sing, ask,
“Who’s light are we singing of?” then bear testimony of obeying
commandments and walking in His love.
- How to ask questions: What where who
when why… phrase questions so the children can sing the answers.
“Who should be reverent?” answer line 1. “Why should we be
reverent?” answer line 2. Young children love to follow hand
actions. Put hand over heart (teach me to walk in the light of his
love), hand raised to heaven (teach me to talk to my Father above), fold
- “When I am Baptized” make
big rainbows with arms, no wimpy ones. They did pitch leading by
standing up taller as the melody went up and bending down low as the melody
went down. They demonstrated the melody on chorus (how it bounces up
and down) by showing it with their hands, in steps in the air. Then,
as with all the songs, they bore testimony to the truthfulness of the
principle in the song. Vary tempo, dynamics, to emphasize meaning.
They taught what a fermata was and why it would be used (to emphasize the
point) “the best I can.” Have children emphasize “can” as they
sing the chorus.
- “Faith” They used the
church produced video of sign language songs (next years songs are not yet
out). Don’t try to sign every word.
- “Sing a Song” and “Lift up
your Voice and Sing” Children and movement go together. Stop
if children aren’t responding. Allow them time for proper movement.
She had us clap our hands to Sing Sing Sing in Sing a Song. Then she
had us bend our knees to the beat and sing, “Sing sing sing”, going up
and down 5ths. Then we put them together. Half sang “Sing a
Song” while clapping the rhythm while the others sang “sing sing sing”
(you sing the tone on the first sing, then drop down a 5th for the second
tone, then back up to the original tone for the third sing, then repeat
while bending knees). (I hope this makes sense because this was
absolutely fantastic!) Then they had us snap the rhythm to “Lift up
your Voice” and then we put ALL 3 parts together. It was amazing.
Then she had us switch parts. Older children like the challenge and
younger children like the movement. Challenge them to take it home and
teach it to their families for FHE.
- ****Always remember to keep it appropriate.
Never let the movement take away from the spirit of the song.
- if a visual needs too much explanation,
don’t use it.
- Use www.lds.org <http://www.lds.org/>
new stuff on it as of today!!! Go to serving in the church, then
primary. Unbelievable resources. Go to music and then to the
Children’s Songbook. You can listen to only melody, accompaniment,
or accompaniment with voices. You can have the song transposed and
print it off!!!! If a song is too high for your Primary, transpose it,
print it and give it to your pianist! This is wonderful if you want to
put a flute or violin, etc… to the music, also!
- “I Will Follow God’s Plan” Use key
words and have 4 children draw pictures to represent the key word they are
given, as you sing the song to the children. Key words are: gift
heaven home light. Divide the children into 4
groups. Everyone sings the whole song, but as your group sings the
phrase of your key word, you stand up and remain standing as you finish the
- Sing as a relay. Have a baton that
the children pass from one group to the next. Your group sings when
your group leader has the baton.
- “I Will Follow God’s Plan” One
helper is going through scriptures (first line), next helper holds an iron
rod (pipe, 2nd line), third helper holds a garden hoe, fourth folds arms as
in prayer. Fifth is walking in place, sixth makes an Earth with arms
and has a big smile on face. Sixth (or the whole Primary, points to
heaven. Ask, “How is this to be sung? The book says with
- “When I am Baptized” Here they
demonstrated “cuing” where they said the line quickly as the music
slowed and then the children sang the line. She also did a stop/go
hand motion to have the children stop singing, but the music continued.
It is using a principle called “inner hearing” where the principle of
the gospel is heard in their head as the music continues to play.
- Music leaders are gospel doctrine teachers
- The spirit can testify through music and
plant it in their hearts.
- When kids are hurt, alone or scared,
Primary songs can help them feel the Savior’s love for the (See “A
Wildflower and a Prayer”, Friend, March 2004 pg 46-7
- The good feelings they feel when they sing
the Primary songs can come to them and be carried with them wherever they go.
- Primary songs are nuggets of gospel they
have with them always.
- Primary songs lock the gospel principles
into the children’s hearts. These children are our future leaders,
parents, etc… so we need them to have these principles in their hearts.