Category Archives: Music

50 minute Primary coming – including Singing Time!

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What a prophet! I’m thrilled to see what a 50-minute Primary will look like in January 2019. I’m even more thrilled to know that it will include Singing Time, no matter what!

The purpose of this shift to home-centered, church-supported instruction is to “greatly increase faith, spirituality, and deepen conversion to Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,” explained Elder Quentin L. Cook. And nothing does THAT like music! Primary music has staying power, way beyond Sunday, way beyond the Primary years.

I appreciate Elder David A. Bednar’s reminder to not “focus primarily upon the logistical aspects of what has been announced.” [He knows me so well.] “We must not allow procedural details to obscure the overarching spiritual reasons these changes now are being made.”

Does your music need some variety to add some bounce and staying power as you seek to lead children to Christ? Try these ideas:

And for a bonus story, in honor of my mother who recently passed away, here’s The Power of Music, for Children “From One to Ninety-two”

Whether church is two hours or three: music in Primary? YESS!

-Marci

 

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Summer visitors made easy!

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With summer in full swing, you may be receiving an influx of visiting children. Here’s a few ideas on how to seamlessly enfold them into your Primary:

Welcome, visitors!

-Marci

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The Power of Music, for Children “From One to Ninety-two”

The following is a free chapter from the book that was born on this blog, Sunday Lessons and Activities for Kids.  Click here to learn more about how this blog became a book. Although this story is not about my own mother, I share it here in memory of my mother who passed away yesterday.

 

The low undertone of children’s chatter continued unabated as the woman stepped to the podium, punctuated by an occasional baby’s wail and parents’ “shh . . .”. Flipping her long brown hair over her shoulder with a practiced nod, she gripped the podium with both hands to steady herself, and began to speak.

“Many of you know my elderly mom has been getting weaker and weaker. We knew she couldn’t last much longer. Well, I got the call on Friday night that I’d better get to the hospital – it wouldn’t be long.” The woman’s soft dark eyes scanned the audience, as if she was gathering strength to continue.

“I rushed into her hospital room to see her lying there, perfectly still, her chest barely moving with each shallow breath. I took her hand and talked to her. She just kept lying there breathing in and out, but I know she heard me. I just know.”

The daughter took a deep breath and went on. “I said the things I needed for her to hear. When there was nothing left to say, I started singing. I wanted her to hear my voice, to know I was there.” The woman stopped to clear her throat, adjusted the microphone for no reason, and continued in a steady monotone.

“I started with ‘I am a Child of God,’ then sang through every Primary song I knew as the tunes and words came into my mind one by one. Then I started over with ‘I am a Child of God’ again. When I came to the last line, ‘to live with Him someday,” I thought ‘Someday? Maybe today.’ I kept singing softly until Mom slipped away, less than an hour after I arrived.”

She paused a moment to collect herself. “I know she’s at peace now, with God. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.” She grabbed a tissue and went back to her seat.

I thought of the blessings that come from simple Primary songs for children of all ages, throughout their lives. As an elderly child of God lay quietly that day, her own voice spent, her daughter became her voice, asking God to “lead me, guide me, walk beside me, help me find the way.” This time, the way was completely uncharted: the way to the other side, to “live with Him someday.” At that moment, this beloved Primary song reminded this elderly child of God that she was simply going home.

 

Check out the rest of the book, with ready-to-use ideas for channeling boundless energy, teaching about ideal families to children who live in other-than-ideal families, staffing challenges, bullying, children’s music for a lifetime, kids with special needs, building a celestial nursery, pint-sized service projects, and behavior management. And you’ll find some of the best children’s lesson enhancements and activities of all time. Available on Amazon.comDeseretBook.com and wherever LDS books are sold.

 

 

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Singing Time Improv!

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Today’s guest author is Brenna, a mother of 3 and a piano teacher who loves  reading, hiking, and volleyball.  She writes: 

Our Primary chorister had a family emergency and wasn’t able to come on Sunday. Luckily, we have an amazing chorister Craig that was released about a year ago, but he was more than happy to fill in last minute. He always has fun ideas.

He taught the kids “Thanks to Our Father” (CS p. 20). It’s a short, two-line song with three simple verses. After the kids got the melody, then he asked four kids to come up front and tell him something that they are thankful for, and to be specific! He then had the whole Primary sing those words to the melody (and if possible, Craig would make them rhyme). For example: “Super Lego Racetrack”, “family that I love”, “pepperoni pizza”, “Jesus up above!”

Three kids said “family” and didn’t give any specifics, so that verse went: “Fa-a-a-a-a-mi-ly, Fa-a-a-a-a-mi-ly, Donuts on Saturday, Fa-a-a-a-a-mi-ly!”

The kids loved it and it was perfect for a last-minute singing time!

Over the summer, Craig did a similar game with the song “Oh, What Do You Do in the Summertime?” (CS p. 245). He taught them the first verse and then had a few kids come up to tell one thing they did in the summer. He tried to get them to rhyme and then we would sing them to the melody. It was a lot of fun.

These ideas work for last-minute fill-ins or when you have time to plan ahead!

-Brenna

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Primary Prelude music to increase sacrament meeting reverence!

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Brilliant Primary president Lindsey writes about a recent ward council meeting: “The bishop asked how we could increase reverence in the chapel, and the discussion led us to this idea.”

Imagine Primary children singing songs they know well as prelude music for an occasional sacrament meeting. Just ask the families to arrive early (heroic, I know). Start with whomever you have, then as children arrive, they join the group singing on the stand.

You can be sure that folks will quiet their chatter to hear the children sing. They can’t help but feel the Spirit. In addition, the children will enjoy this opportunity to share their feelings about God through song, and it gives them additional practice to embed these gospel songs with powerful messages into their hearts.

For a related idea, see Stake Children’s choir made easy.

Sing on, children!

-Marci

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Stake Children’s choir made easy

LDS Church News photo

Remember the children’s choir in General Conference? This photo is from the Saturday afternoon session of the 2004 General Conference. Primary children CAN rise to the occasion for YOUR stake conference! Nothing brings a sweeter spirit than children singing, and it gives them enormously valuable experience and confidence, strengthening their own testimonies as well.

See Children’s Choir, 60 strong for the how-to breakdown.

Download this letter to the parents, suitable for customizing for your stake: Children’s choir letter to parents and leaders

I love the words of the seldom-sung hymn, “In Our Lovely Deseret” (Hymns, 307):
Hark! Hark! Hark! ’tis children’s music—
Children’s voices, oh, how sweet,
When in innocence and love,
Like the angels up above,
They with happy hearts and cheerful faces meet. 
Sing on, sweet children.
-Marci

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Primary Singing Olympics!

Here’s an easy idea to get the kids motivated to sing their very best! Here are our very official judges for the “Singing Olympics” during singing time. We split into 3 teams. Each team performed the song we’ve been learning all month (one team at a time), and we awarded a gold, silver, and bronze medal at the end.

All you need are a clipboard, pen and paper for each judge, and paper medals for each team or each child. Have fun with it!

-Michelle

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Rainy Day prop for choosing songs or choosing turns

Guest contributor Sister D. strikes again! (See her previous clever “Hello Song” post here.)

Looking for a fun way to choose songs or for kids to choose turns? Open up an umbrella, hang strings from the metal ribs, and hang paper raindrops from the strings! Label the raindrops with names of songs for review, or numbers that correspond to a list of songs to sing or scriptures to read. (Hint: putting numbers on the raindrops makes them reusable for different purposes.)

Let it pour!

And if it’s more like snow season than rain season, try this “Year Round Snowball Fight!”

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Dodge those arrows and rocks like Samuel the Lamanite!

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Download the free audio MP3 and sheet music here (available exclusively on PrimaryinZion!)

Kids don’t have to stand on a wall to have arrows and rocks thrown at them — or words that hurt like arrows and rocks. But just like Samuel, they might be unhurt. Here’s what happened to Samuel:

“(They) were angry with him; and they cast stones at him upon the wall, and also many shot arrows at him as he stood upon the wall; but the Spirit of the Lord was with him, insomuch that they could not hit him with their stones neither with their arrows.” Helaman 16:2

Like Samuel, children can have the Spirit of the Lord with them, no matter what others do. A little ignoring can go a long way. Kindness to the verbal arrow-shooter can work too. (See “Passing Kindness” game from the Friend magazine for ways to show kindness to others, and how to defend themselves when others are unkind.)

But if the situation is serious, crossing over into bullying, it may be time to take action. Try these ideas:

And in case Samuel the Lamanite is one of YOUR heroes too, teach your children this unforgettable original song (only available here at PrimaryinZion!): Samuel the Lamanite song (with sheet music)!

Don’t let those arrows hurt you. Keep the Spirit of the Lord with you, just like Samuel.

-Marci

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NEW! Free Audio for “Samuel the Lamanite,” a catchy original song only on PrimaryinZion!

thisweekinmormons.com

Guest contributor Benn Cole, father of two, is a music producer, composer, and audio engineer based in Salt Lake City. Check out his website at Benncolemusic.weebly.com including his original composition of “Do As I’m Doing” (Marci’s personal favorite) on the album “Peace Before the Storm.”

 

We’re delighted to share an audio recording of “Samuel the Lamanite” a catchy song only available here on PrimaryinZion! This original song, with words and music by Dr. Mark Henderson, is a memorable way to teach about this brave ancient prophet that is an inspiration for children today.

Click here to listen to the piano accompaniment on YouTube (WARNING – after singing this song once, it will be stuck in your head forever! and that’s a good thing)

Here’s the sheet musicSamuel the Lamanite Piano Accompaniment

Here’s the lyrics:

Verse 1:

Samuel, Samuel, Samuel the Lamanite

stood up on the wall.

They threw their arrows and their rocks, rocks, rocks,

but they could not make him fall.

Verse 2:

Samuel, Samuel, Samuel the Prophet

said the Savior’s on His way.

In five more years there’ll be a brand new star

and a night as bright as day.

Ending (Coda):

Samuel, Samuel, Samuel the Lamanite said REPENT!

 

Click here for Michelle’s story about the song: The Power of Music: NEW Samuel the Lamanite song!

It’s copyrighted so please only use it for your personal use or in your Primary at church.  Enjoy!

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