Sunday, August 21, 2011

Some extreme marshmallow action

I had an idea in the middle of the week to use marshmallows to motivate the kids (actually my idea was for jaw breakers, so thanks to Mary for talking sense into me).  The idea is that for every song the kids sing well I will put a marshmallow in a bowl.  At the end of singing time I would put them all in my mouth and try to sing to the kids.  There are 12 songs in the program, they got 11 marshmallows in the bowl.
Singing "Popcorn Popping" was kind of ridiculous.  I could barely breathe.  The kids though sang their hearts out to see me do this.  I probably won't ever do it again,  but I got great feedback from the kids - they loved it.  Figures.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


The kids sang "Praise to the Man" this week so well I asked our fabulous pianist for some fanfare.  The kids loved the praise from the fanfare and understood how proud I was of their singing.  I had her play it for me after primary so you get the idea.

Getting ready for the program

Including this week, our primary has four Sunday's before the program.  Instead of doing one singing meter for the whole period of time, we're doing something different every week.  I pulled out my Nephite and as the kids passed off a song, we put an article of clothing on him.  We had two songs they didn't pass off and so they will be working on those next week.  It still amazes me how they sing some with such enthusiasm and others hardly at all. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011


Training Tips

When singing with the children, there are a few important tips:
1. Look at the children.
2. Smile
3. Cue them at the beginning of the song, and sing with them.

Look at the children at the beginning of the song.  It's better to memorize the song, but if you haven't, memorize the first line quickly right before you sing.  That way at the moment it's time to sing you can see the children and the pianist and cue them to begin.  Making eye contact is very important.
Looking down at the book doesn't tell the children when to begin and they are less likely to pay attention, because you aren't paying attention to them.
When holding visual aids it's still important to look at the children.  Memorize the song you are teaching.  If you forget a word or line look back at the poster or picture to remind yourself and then look back at the children.  If you spend the whole time looking at the poster you are singing away from them.  I have seen  children not begin to sing until halfway through the first line, because they didn't know when to start, their chorister was looking away.  Conducting at them is not enough.
Use magnets, clips or tape and put your visual aids up on the wall behind you so your hands are free, or check out a big easel from the library.  You can even hold a poster in one hand, or cards in front of you. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The subs get all the fun

It's time to start really working on our program which is coming up in September, but I need a sub for this Sunday so the kids may as well have a good time.  The songs are on the back of the leaves and birds and all of them are classic, fun songs.  I'm glad the kids get to have fun one more time before we spend five weeks prepping for the program.  I'll take a sub for the hard parts, I hate to miss a fun week. 

The Lord Gave me a Temple

I can tell I have been doing this for a while, all my visual aids are starting to look the same.  The pictures all come out of the Friend, or a picture pack.

I have actually been really excited to teach this song.  I taught it as a program song in the 90's and I really loved it.  It's fun to teach it again. 
 I know this song backwards and forwards but sometimes when I'm behind the card I don't know what I'm looking at so I scrawled the words on the back so I know where I am in the song (scrawled is pretty accurate too, I broke my arm and writing with a cast is a challenge).
A quick run through the laminator and I'm ready to go!