Thursday, May 28, 2009

Fathers Day Song #209

I had our fabulous secretary take pictures of the dads roaming the halls two weeks ago. It was a lot easier than running around to different houses trying to catch dads while they were home. I hope the kids like seeing their dads.
Our Bishop kindly consented to be photographed, which is great! For the third verse I had a really hard time finding pictures of the Father. There aren't that many, so both of these are of the same scene.
I made 3 different sets of visual aids for the chorus, that way I could flip through them without having to go back. There are different fathers for the other two, that way I could incorporate more dads. I think I need to draw a heart around the dad on the very special love page.

I don't always put all the words on the visual aids, but we don't have a lot of time to learn the song and it is kind of long. This way the older kids can read the words if they need them and the younger kids can see the pictures.

UPDATE: June 2014.  I made these up again in my new ward.  The kids love seeing the pictures of their dads.  I found the file I used and I tried to put it into Google docs but it doesn't support the font I used.  If you  have Microsoft word I will email you the file, then you add your own photos.  email me at

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Review Week and a Primary Singing Group

This week we reviewed Baptism. Our organist substitued in primary and I gave him the music from the Sing With Me book (challenging, but I was sure he could handle it). If anyone is interrested i'll scan the music and put it on my blog. He did exceptionally well considering it has four sharps and is generally considered the most difficult primary song to play. Personally, I just think the music flows better and makes more sense musically, I don't know if the kids really noticed any difference between the old and new music.
We also reviewed How Firm a Foundation and I Belong to the Church. I have the schedule now where each program song gets sung twice a month. I only have one left to teach now, and i'm really excited about being done. We're doing I'll Seek the Lord Early at the end of June. Next up, is the Fathers day song and I should have my visual aids finished sometime this week so I can post them. I let my pianist pick the song, we're doing Fathers, I love to involve her any way I can.
I pulled out the rose colored glasses this week, and the magical singing spray for motivation.
We also raced the pianist. We always race with Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, but we were singing Popcorn Popping and Brother C. was just playing so energetically I couldn't help it - we had to race. It was so fun, more fun than HSKT, because your hands are trying move quickly to do the signs, and the song is longer so it made it more challenging. He won. I think with a little practice we will be ready for a rematch when he comes back.
My mom sent me a link this week for a yahoo group that talks about singing time, here's the link if you are interrested in joining:
I started just getting the daily update because it can be a lot of emails in one day. Some of the ideas are really good, and it gives me lots to think about.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Teaching Baptism
I thought I would try something different in teaching this song.
I printed up a posterboard with the words to the song on it. Some of the words were colored, to match signs I made and taped to sticks. For the Junior Primary I would point to the sign with the picture of the word we were singing. In Senior Primary the kids with the sign would have to stand up when we sang their word and then sit down. Words like immersion only come up once, but 'the' came up several times and that seemed to be the word everyone wanted - especially the older boys. They really had to pay attention to stand up at the right time. Also because we kept switching up who had the signs the kids were more than willing to sing it over and over again.
Reverence in Primary
The presidency asked this week if we would be willing to help bring reverence into the primary by starting to sing as soon as the kids start walking in. I was a little worried that I would be singing by myself while everyone got settled, new things can be a little scary, but the kids caught on right away and started singing - it was the grown ups actually that kept on talking and it took them longer to catch on. I am happy to report that both Sr. and Jr. primaries were more settled and even the Sister conducting knew right when to start. It worked! We sang a few reverence songs and then got started. Of course i'm thrilled, now I can add a few more songs to the list every week!
On a Lighter Note
The children sang so beautifully in Sacrament meeting I had to give them a treat - we sang Head, Shoulders, Knees and Stump (slap your stump) like a pirate. And I conducted Give said the Little Stream while snapping, and the kids snapped too. It was a fun treat for working so hard and singing so well for all the mothers.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Choose and Review Apron

I have had a question about the choose and review apron and if I put it in a post, it will be easier to see the answer.
It's a plain white apron from Michaels, I think it cost about 5 dollars. I used fabric scraps from my stash and sewed pockets onto it. I tried to make them different shapes and sizes, the tooth fabric I tried to shape like a tooth, and the heart fabric I tried to make a heart shaped pocket. I write songs on paper and stick them in the pockets, then the kids can choose a pocket and I pull out the song. I made "girl" and "boy" pockets, because my boys would never choose something out of a pocket with hearts on it, and my daughter would never choose a pocket that wasn't pink or flowery.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Too Many Props

I think today got a little out of hand when it came to props. I had a bunch of ideas rumbling around in my head and somehow I used them all, and covered the top of the piano. We had the signs for the welcome song, the Scripture Power Book, fishing, Grandmother sign, When Jesus Christ was Baptized signs, I often go Walking visual aids, my big ears and the How Firm a Foundation Posters. This is why my mother used to pull a wagon to church. We had a great review for the mothers day songs - they should be ready, and after that we played fishing for songs. We sang the Baptism song from last years program to set the tone for sharing time which was about Baptism. Next week we're learning Baptism. My favorite!!!! And I even got Shannon to agree to play the music from the Sing With Me book. She is so brave - 4 sharps!

What's in your Songbook?

I was talking to Shannon (my fabulous pianist!) today behind the piano about past program songs. I've been the chorister on and off and in 3 wards since 1995 and have spent all but four years since then in primary (my brief stint in Young Women). I have now seen program songs recycled, songs I remember doing in the 1990's that we are doing again. Going through my songbook, I can see the ones that I did, and wish the choristers had just kept singing them - that would save me time now. So here's my book.
When you open the front cover there is a list of years and program themes that i've done.

The contents page now holds a photocopy of those pages, containing my master list. I highlight the songs the kids know, that way I can keep rotating them because I remember what they are. Because this is a new ward from the last time I did music, and our ward was split last year, I spent a long time compiling this list by playing "What do you know?" on Sundays. This list is invaluable during Holidays, when you can't remember exactly what they know from last year. Also, it reminds me to keep using the songs they know so that they can remember them, and also because they love these songs!

On the bottom of the page, I print the year I taught this as a program song, or that I was in Primary the year it was a program song. I did Listen, Listen in 1997 and again in 2007.

In the back of the book are my loose pages of songs we sing frequently that aren't in the book. Scripture Power, Holding Hands Around the World, etc.
I love my book! It's worn and written in and beaten down, but I couldn't do without it! What's in your Songbook?