Music workshop March 2006
Notes by Shauna, Layton Ut
The session was opened by singing “Tell Me Dear Lord”.  As we prepared to sing, they directed us to notice the beautiful prayer language in the song.  They had a poster with the prayer language words printed on it.  (Thy, Thou, Thine, etc…)

A. Opening exercises are strengthened by Primary music:

  • Prelude
  • Prayer song:  We sang “Father Up Above”.  We were directed to sing it as a whisper-sing.  This would be a very effective way to bring the children into a more reverent attitude when you can tell, even before the singing starts, that they children are a bit wound up.
  • Prayer by one of the children
  • Scripture by one of the children (children’s choice)  * as a side note, in the teacher training class it was suggested that the scripture be “framed” with the background of the scripture (i.e. “this scripture comes from the book of Mosiah.  It is when King Benjamin is talking to his people before he died…”) and then applied (“I chose this scripture because it reminded me of when my Dad gave such-and-such lesson in FHE and said…”)
  • Brief message by a member of the presidency (for example, week one of the month would be an explanation of the monthly scripture, week 2 learn it and repeat it together with a brief talk applying it to their lives which segues into a song)  The example they gave was a scripture that talked about prayer (I didn’t write down what it was) and then they told about the song which is printed in the April 2006 Friend called, “Never Forget to Pray”.  They told how the General Board meets twice a year with the First Presidency and as they were leaving their last meeting they asked what message they could take to the children of the Primary.  Pres. Hinckley said to tell them to “Never forget to pray.”  As sister Elizabeth Ricks, a member of the board, was traveling home thinking of this message, a melody came to her mind and she pulled over and jotted it down on the back of a receipt (the only paper she could find).  The resulting song is “Never Forget to Pray.”  Then she taught the song very simply by singing it to us and having us repeat it (we had the words on an overhead-and we all can read, unlike the jr. primary!).  It took all of 5 minutes to give the message, teach the song and sing it.
  • Message by a member of the bishopric (as possible)
  • A song or two:  Here they sang “We Welcome You” using a girl and a boy stick puppets.  The boys follow the boy puppet holder who bobbed up and down and then swayed back and forth with the rhythm, the girls followed the girl puppet who bobbed up and down and then turned in around in a circle to the rhythm.  Then we sang, “Have a Very Happy Birthday!”.  They had poster paper sized candles with a circle cut out in the flame for the child’s face to show through.  The Primary starts low to the ground and grows as the song progresses, showing them “growing up” as they sing.
  • Talks by children
  • Quiet song:  They sang “Search, Ponder and Pray” here. When they taught this, they had us point a finger into our scriptures when we sang “Search”, put our finger to our temple on “Ponder” and fold our arms when we sang “Pray”They had a large “picture book” using GAK pictures and photos of “your” primary children using the scriptures.
B. Sharing time is strengthened by Primary Music
  • They modeled a sharing time for April with the topic “Jesus Christ was resurrected.  He lives today”.  They used the scripture story “The First Easter” from Primary 2 manual, pg 252.  BTW, they said this is an example of an appropriate rebus story.  The pictures in it represent the actual thing, and since children are literal learners, the pictures must represent the literal object they represent.  They divided us into classes and had us “act” out the story as she told it (she had it on an overhead).  The Sunbeams were “friends” and they stood and hugged themselves as if they were friends of Jesus, seeing him again after being gone for a long time.  The CTR 5’s were the “tomb” and they stood and put their arms up straight when she came to the picture of the tomb.  CTR 6’s were the “stone” and they stood and held their arms about big and wide like a stone.  The CTR 7’s were the “soldiers” and they stood as tall as they could and looked stern.  The CTR 4’s were the “angel” and they stood with their arms outstretched, with a big smile.
  • Scripture:  Then we looked up Matt 28:6.  They directed us to which book (the Bible has two parts, the old and the new.  We are looking in the new.  We are looking for a book that starts with an “m” when you have found it, put your finger in the scriptures and look at me to let me know you have found it.  Now we are looking for chapter 28.  Put your finger in the scriptures and look at me to let me know you have found it, etc…).  When everyone found it she read it and explained it and then had half say the first part and the other half say the second part a few times then we put it all together.  She then directed the “teachers” to pass out the red pencils to have the children mark the verse.
  • Song:  Then we sang, “Did Jesus Really Live Again” (it reinforces the principle taught in the story and scripture. SUFFICIENT TIME MUST BE ALLOWED TO LEARN THE SONG.  Yup, she actually said that.  You can quote it!  She taught hand actions to this song.  “Did Jesus really live again?…” hands to the side at shoulder height, palms up.  “He wakened and he left the tomb” walking motion.  “He called Mary’s name” hands at mouth to “call” Mary.  Verse 3:  “And there were nail prints in his hands” touch palms where nails would be.  “And a spear wound in his side” touch side where the wound was.  “Did Jesus really live again, after he had died” hands up again.  “Oh yes, and so shall I” nod yes and put palm over heart.
C. Singing time is an important part of sharing time.
  1. Teaching a song: (Dearest Children)
  • Know the song
  • Get the children’s attention:  She had a large envelope (2 feet long) addressed to the children with a large letter saying, “Dearest Children, Please learn this hymn, “Dearest Children, God is Near You” to find a special message.  Love, Sister…
  • Sing the song
  • Focus or direct the listening:  Ask:  Who is near you?  Explain:  God is a sacred word.  Ask:  When does He watch over you?  Ask:  When does Heavenly Father bless us?  Define:  Strive means to try with all your heart.  Ask:  What two phrases do we sing twice?
  • Repeat the song and bear testimony of the principle.
**The melody at “strive to do what’s right” goes up.  It is hard to strive like it is hard to go up a mountain.  The melody reminds us of that as we sing.
**They suggested that you might want to transpose the hymn to a lower key that is easier for the children to sing (although it would seem it would be easier for the chorister and teachers to sing since the children don’t have as hard a time with the high notes as we may).