Sunday, July 19, 2015

August Singing Time - Practice the Primary Presentation

Most choristers are getting ready for the primary presentation in September. I always started to add my musical instruments about now. I always had a few instruments as accompaniments to the song. It adds so much.
I looked out the window and what did I see? Popcorn popping on the apricot tree!  ALWAYS
add some funny songs into your weekly list. 
One idea is to use the older kids who can play the violin. I had 2 girls a few years ago that played alongside an easy, repetitive chorus of one of the presentation songs.


Most years I have used resonator bells to accompany a song. I love the wood block bells and they sound delightful tinkling in the background. You can use other types of bells too.

First Note 15 Note Wood Xylophone  
 One I recommend is a xylophone set for $20 bucks. The tones of these bells is very crisp and rises above the piano AND the singing. And you can get a child who has some piano lessons in his/her background to play a simple rythm or several children to do chords to add to the chorus of a song. The link is HERE for Musician's Friend, where I bought mine.  The kids LOVE them. they have many other types of bells to choose from for around $25.00.
Rhythm Band RB2130 Plastic Resonator Bells  
Another thing to start is maybe a song with sign language. I tried to do this every other year. It is so moving to watch young kids sign a song. Love One Another has signs in the songbook.

Another instrument I've used in the past is a flutist. I don't care if it is an adult or a primary child, it always adds to the meeting.

And lastly, I will add some solos and trios or duets.  Many songs have a harder 2nd or 3rd verse that the kids do not really master in time. If that is the case in your primary, then add an older group of boys  or girls or a mix to trio the 2nd verse.
Look at this cute little trio. My grandkids at Cowabunga Bay with me. It was fun to spend the day with them at a waterpark but it sadly started RAINING! It was hot and rainy with warm water. Very weird but fun experience. 

It especially has worked well in missionary type songs. It just brings such a sweet spirit to the song lyrics to have individual kids sing them at the microphone. Anyway, add some special things to your program this month, so you have time to practice and perfect the special musical touches.



Friday, July 10, 2015

Primary Singing Time Ideas


I pull sticks out of the can to be sure each child has a chance to come up and participate in the singing time games....
Singing Time helps that have served me well over the years are easy, go to, bag of tricks items I can grab on the way out the door. Here are a few of my favs.
Pictures on sticks.....I use lots of these kinds of things on sticks so I can call on kids to come up and help me lead the singing in fun ways....

Sing like a Shining Star. We hold about 8 of these up around the room while singing "I am Like a Star Shining Brightly" as everybody  does the hand motions opening and closing their fingers like blinking stars.

I teach school and my motto has always been; if I'm bored, the kids are going to be bored too. Don't be boring. Do fun activities along with teaching the songs. I hope I never got stale. I always wanted to do fresh, fun things to get the kids involved.
Magnetic Fishing - Try a game of Going Fishing using each fish as a song (list songs in washable marker on the back) or you could use them to write small questions and tape them to the backs of the laminated fish. The pole is just a dowel with string and magnet.

The other thing is to always bring the spirit into the singing time. The songs most often do it themselves. But I always taught lessons along with the songs. I would bear my testimony about my work in the temple. I would tell the kids about how important it is to include others and be nice at school with stories of things I had seen that made me sad.
For better singing, louder singing, more focus.....I have made dozens of these kinds of things where you pull a string on the back and the thing grows, or goes up as they do a great job singing.....they are always delightful fun. Try a rocket blasting off, a thermometer going up in red, etc. 

I encouraged them all the time that they could make a difference in their own families by instigating kindness  or exhibiting helpfulness to their siblings and parents.

Fun Motivators.....You can't tell from this picture but the red tongue goes up as the kids sing louder or better. It is a funny one with the furry red head of hair on Lester. 

I would try to repeat things that were spoken about in the sharing time lessons when I had inspirations. The singing time is primarily a teaching time. So make it so.
Pictures and Visuals......I use lots of pictures and visual aids to go with all my songs. My favorite method to teach a new song is finding a flip book from Sugardoodle with words to go with pictures. 
HERE are a few cute conducting ideas to keep the kids learning and interested, check out these posts by some music experts in the trenches of Primary Music. Teaching kids how to conduct is always fun too. And if you don't know how, just read some expert blogs and copy them!

Here are a few ideas on leading singing from some experts in the field.....


Leading Sticks by Brooke Wakefield on Sugardoodle
It's All in the Hands by Ali Katherman on Sugardoodle
A Conducting Wand on Sugardoodle
Conducting Elephant by Tifany Hoecherl on Sugardoodle

I have used all of these things in my BAG OF TRICKS when I need something quick and I don't have a lot of prep time. Try one of them this Sunday!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Pioneer Day Singing Time


Well this month is a good one for doing something Pioneery. Here we are at the Pioneer Day floats last year. I'm hangin' out by this giant pioneer. Have you ever dressed up as a pioneer for Pioneer Day Singing Time in July? You have a few weeks to do some pioneer fun. Wear a bonnet at least.
And here's the hubs tolerating a picture with a giant pioneer gal! Doesn't he look like he's having too much fun? haha. It is fun to dress up for Pioneer Day Singing Time. That's a great idea people! 
Pioneer Day Singing Time
 One of my favorite things I've ever done for Pioneer Day singing is making a giant PIE with cut out PIE SECTIONS with song titles hidden underneath.
Pioneer Day Singing Time 
The kids loved coming up and picking a favorite flavor of pie (the top view of the pie sections had pie types written like cherry, chocolate etc.) and underneath I had written the songs we needed to go over.
Here I am with my cute daughter in law making fools of ourselves for Pioneer Day. lol I'd start planning now for wearing some pioneer duds one of these upcoming Sundays during singing time. The kids will love it! 

I loved it when we took all the grankids to the Pioneer Day Parade floats a few years back. Here we all are posing. We all went to look at the parade floats.....grandkids and all. It was really fun. 

For Pioneer Day They got their faces painted (and photographed a ton) and got some cotton candy too. 
 You couldn't make cotton candy in primary but you could pull taffy! That would be a really fun activity if your sharing time peeps need some ideas! HERE is a recipe and how it is done. Or HERE is one using Kool-aid. It sounds yummy. And you could do a Taffy Walk instead of a Cake Walk and stop and call out a number and then whomever is on that number wins a piece of taffy and you sing that song number! Genius, I know!!

AND a clown made them some some balloon animals at the Pioneer Day floats. What more could you ask for at age 4 to 6? hmmm?
 You could also do a Pioneer "CAKE WALK" and pass out cupcakes or Rice Crispie Treats or Brownies to the winning numbers. Check out this printable and how to do it on one of my old blog posts HERE. Who doesn't love winning a little cupcake in primary? Everybody loves cupcakes! Or rice crispie treats! I made these today and they were easy and colorful.
Pioneer Cakewalk Crispie Treats 

Rice Crispie M and Ms Treats recipe is HERE on my Weekday Chef blog.


Rice Crispie M and M Treats are so colorful and fun. 

These Rice Crispie Pops are a bit more time consuming but they are sure cute and colorful. And you could call them PIONEER POPS!  (Or just be lazy and buy some suckers and do the same). But then you'd have to call it a Pop Walk instead of a Cake Walk. :D 
 HERE is a cute customizable primary singing time "fill in the blanks sheet"  from Bridgette Patteron. It will help you stay organized on Sunday giving out your Singing Time program and give a copy to the pianist and whomever is conducting primary!
Well the fun never stops I can tell you. Unless you can drive a train. Here I am driving the train! You haven't lived till you've been a train engineer (or just pretended to be one). I love doing these photo face thingies.  I know. I'm so lame. haha. 

Check out this PIONEER CHILDREN SANG AS THEY WALKED FLIPCHART by Jolli Jenn. I used it to sing one of the songs. Happy Pioneer Day singing!




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