Friday, July 18, 2008

Primary Music Review Ideas

At long last, here is the list of Primary music review ideas I promised to post. (See my previous post for the background on that.) Not that the ideas are anything profound, but hey--if they help someone with their calling, they're worth sharing. Since ours was a student stake, we had lots of Primary leaders who hadn't worked in Primary before and were scared to death of the upcoming sacrament meeting program.

You have to imagine it typed up in a cutesy font that Blogger doesn't support. Also notice the liberal use of exclamation points (!!!)

Ideas for Music Leaders on Coping with Reviewing for the Primary Sacrament Meeting Program!

Practicing Songs:
For songs that they don’t know so well, do some intensive work on these. Make sure they have an understanding of the song (re-teach it if you have to—it does no good to practice a song if they don’t know the words) and then have them sing it and sing it and sing it. Some ideas for making the repetitions interesting are:
· Stop and Go Signs
· just boys or just girls sing
· Sing as loud as you can (within reason!)
· Invite a special guest to listen and comment (hopefully they will try hard and the comments will be good!)
· or have a puppet listen to them sing and comment; a puppet can be easier to take critiques from if they don’t sing well, and can be a lot of fun
· make a tape recording of them singing the song and play it for them; try to make a better recording if the first one didn’t sound so good
· If they need lots of practice on remembering the words, and you’ve been using visual aids, take one (or more) away each time they sing the song. This makes them have to only memorize a little at a time, and meanwhile, they’ve repeated the song lots of times and are learning it!
· Another idea is to have different groups of children learn different lines of the song. Have a teacher with each group who can practice the line with them a couple of times. Then sing the song. When their line comes up, their group sings it. Then switch lines between the groups.
· Tell the children you are listening for the best singers, or the ones who are trying the hardest, and give them a small prize like a sticker or a certificate. Or give them a privilege like letting them pick the next song or hold the next sign.
· Let the children take turns standing up front and leading the song… You can use this as a “best singers” reward, too
· Anything else you can think of! The idea is to keep your practice times interesting and enjoyable, so the children will love the songs and their messages!

Here are some other ideas:
· Make games out of the review process. Choose ‘n’ review games are great to review songs that they know pretty well. (Don’t ignore these songs! They forget them quickly if they don’t sing them often! And they love to sing songs they know.)
· Enlist the parents. Send copies of the words, or copies of the songs home with the children (or pass them out in Relief Society). Ask the parents to sing the songs with the children at home. (Some will, some won’t.)
· One ward last year made a tape of the songs they were singing for the program (from the Primary CD’s and the Hymn CD’s when needed) and gave copies to all the children. The loop of songs was recorded over and over on both sides of the tape so that the tape could be left on without having to stop and rewind it. It worked well because the children loved the tapes and played them often at home. (Present-day Katie's note: Yeah, this was written long enough ago that cassette tapes weren't completely obsolete.)
· If you have any other wonderful ideas that have worked well for you, please pass them along! Let me know and I’ll either send out another list like this or include the ideas in a future stake training meeting. Also, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Thanks for the wonderful work you are doing! The children are so important, and the songs they learn in Primary are something they can keep with them always.

Katie Parker
University 3rd Stake Primary Music Leader
(Present-day Katie's note: but not anymore!)


Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting your ideas. That is great!

One thing I am doing is I have a song list on a big poster board. Next to each song, I start with a big red dot (like red light, green light). If the song improves, they get a yellow dot, and when it is great, they get green. This way, those who can read, have a visual of the songs they will be singing and how they are coming along. :)

Jennette (Fishers, Indiana)

Katie Parker said...

Hey, thanks for sharing your poster idea. This is a good idea--I could see it giving the kids a sense of continuity as they see what they need to work for each week. Getting to the next dot level could be a good incentive, too.

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