"...by small and simple things are great things brought to pass..."

Alma 37:6

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus - Chorus

I decided I want our Primary to sing this song for one of our musical numbers at the beginning of December (which is why I'm getting ready to work on it now!).  I really like Camille's idea for the chorus using toilet paper and paper towel rolls:

"So for the activity, I'm going to just write out the words of the chorus on the chalkboard. We'll read and sing the words. Then I'll ask the Primary if anyone knows what "Hosanna" means (as it's the first 2 words in the chorus). We'll talk about it's definition which is: 
  • an exclamation, originally an appeal to God for deliverance, used in praise of God or Christ.
  • a cry of “hosanna.”
  • a shout of praise or adoration; an acclamation.

"I'll proceed to pass out the "bugles" (one for each child - no sharing, yuck!) and tell the kids we are going to "shout praises of adoration" using those cute little rolls. 
"I'll erase one of the "Hosanna" words and we'll "bugle" that word, while just singing the other words without the tp rolls. I'll continue to erase another word, and the Primary will get to "bugle" more words as they are gradually erased. Eventually being able to "bugle" the whole song with no words on the board.

"Since Jr. Primary mostly can't read, I'll still have the words up and we'll just read them all together. We'll review the words we've erased and they can try to remember which ones to "bugle."

She added an update to her post after she did this with her Primary and noted the success:

"I just have to share how singing time with the toilet paper rolls went today...it was a total hit. I've never had kids sing their little hearts out. Even those little 11-year old stinker boys sang! It always amazes me how the most simple things tend to be the most successful."

Thursday, October 17, 2013

2014 Primary Program Song Line-Up

Here is what our Primary's 2014 song line-up looks like:

  • He Sent His Son                          CS p. 34     (2:03)
  • I Will Follow God’s Plan             CS p. 164    (1:19)
  • I Stand All Amazed                     Hymn 193    (3:38)
    • 3 verses
  • The Family Is of God                   Outline         (3:00)
    • 4 verses
  • When I Hear the Prophet's Voice   Friend          (0:47)
  • I Love to See the Temple             CS p. 95      (2:25)
  • Baptism                                       CS p. 100    (1:53)
    • 3 verses
  • Seek the Lord Early                     CS p. 108    (1:20)
Song Time Total:                                                     (16:25)

Closing hymn: Families Can Be Together Forever - Hymn 300

Side note:  I'm pretty sure I want to sing The Family Is of God as the last song.  The way our Presidency has done the program is just doing it in the order the topics are laid out in in the year's Sharing Time outline.  But they are pretty easy going so if I feel strongly to move something around they said they would probably let me!

Follow the Prophet - Extra Verse

I'm thinking I might go with "Follow the Prophet" - CS p. 110, for our May 2014 song.  I would do the 1st (Adam), 2nd (Enoch), and 3rd (Noah) verses, and then this extra verse about President Monson written by the original composer of the song:

Thomas S. Monson: 
Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to return.
He blesses us with prophets who help us to learn.
President Monson humbly leads God’s Church today.
As we heed his words, we’ll walk a righteous way. 
Duane E. Hiatt (original composer of the song),
March 2010 FRIEND Magazine

Link to the SHEET MUSIC for this verse.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I Love to See the Temple - Extra Verse

I wanted to find or write an extra verse to "I Love to See the Temple" that helps the song fit more specifically to the 2014 Primary theme topic for June.  I couldn't find one that was what I wanted so I wrote my own!

I Love to See the Temple - CS p. 95, extra verse
I love to see the temple, I'm strengthened every hour
By holy ordinances performed by priesthood power
For the temple is the place where we are bound to all our fam'ly
As we do their work we all are blessed
Now and through eternity

I may or may not tweak a few words here and there, but I am pretty happy with this after racking my brain for the last week about it!

I'm planning on teaching simplified sign language to this song.  I like when the children use sign language with music, or anyone really.  I've also heard that it helps them learn the songs better.  We shall see!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Posting Song Lyrics

One general help I like to do is to print the song lyrics and put them at the front of the room so everyone (who can read) can sing along.  I really liked this idea from Camille's blog, as I come from a non-knowing-Primary-songs background.  My husband and I had callings as Primary teachers in our first ward after getting married and I liked to sing along but didn't know a lot of the songs, or didn't know all the words.  I would have found this awesome and helpful.  This makes me think that there are probably others who find themselves in a similar boat and don't know the songs as well and could benefit from this.  And I don't want to just sing the songs they know, because maybe they don't know all the ones I do and think are common.  Also, there are different types of learners out there, and just maybe there are some who learn better by seeing the words (I know that's me!).

I use Cambria font at least size 55 but will go up to 65 or 70 if I can.  I break up the phrases and take up as much room on one sheet of paper as I can.  I try to fit at least one verse on one 8.5x11 sheet of paper.  It usually can be done.  You just have to mess with the font and margins until it all fits.  :)

Camille puts her pages in sheet protectors.  I've heard other people recommend not doing that because of potential glare (and it saves room in your binder).  I guess you could use the non shiny sheet protectors.  So far I've just punched holes in the paper and used them that way.

I don't put them in my binder anymore because the music stand we have in our Primary room is very weak and does not hold much weight at all.  Plus I found it difficult to flip through to each song in a short amount of time.  Now I post all the Opening Exercises songs for that day up on the front chalkboard with a magnet.  It seems to work well and I don't have to fuss with all that page turning!


Monday, October 14, 2013

Here We Are Together

I wanted to do a little get to know you activity my first Sunday as Primary Music Leader.  Someone told me about the idea of using the "Here We Are Together" song from the Children's Songbook (p. 261).  I cut up a bunch of 2 inch strips of paper and had the kids and teachers write their names on their paper (labels would work too, maybe better, but I didn't have any).  I told the children that when it was their turn they should show me their paper and stand up (I think they all got confused or something because they didn't stand up...).  I taped my name to myself and the pianist's to the piano, and off we went!  We sang through the song 4 or 5 times, starting with me and the pianist, and went through about one whole row of classes (about 8ish people) per round.  I only went through everyone once, but in hindsight I probably should have gone through everyone again.  My original intent was mostly to have them learn my name since I'm new, and also for me to get a start at learning their names.  That purpose was served at least.  Another idea with this was to have kids come to the front and sing the song with those names and rotate them in and out, but we have a lot of kids in our Primary.

I coupled this activity with a General Conference type activity, since I found one I liked and the previous music leader didn't do one before Conference.  I think it was a lot of set up for one day though.  It was kind of crazy.  I don't think I'll do that again!  :)

  • "Here We Are Together" CS p. 261

  • strips of paper or labels
  • crayons/markers/pencils
  • tape
  • printed song lyrics