Sunday, January 15, 2012

Stump the Chorister

It's been a while since I thought of a new game.  I've been doing this a long time.  I had an idea that since I have been chorister multiple times and spent my childhood in primary I know a lot of songs.  I decided to make a game of it.
After choosing a child, they could come up to the front and look through the songbook.  They had 10 seconds to choose a song.  They read me the title.  If I could sing the song on the spot with just the title I got to pick the song (in this case we reviewed As a Child of God).  If I didn't know the song, they could pick what we sang. 
It turned out to be lots of fun.  The kids all wanted to see if they could stump me, and sometimes they did.  I couldn't sing "The World is so Lovely" or "We are Different", but I knew "Hum your favorite Hymn" and "Family History, I am doing it".  It was fun for me and for them.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

2012 Theme "Choose the Right" and some random thoughts.

As outlined:

January - As a Child of God
February - Choose the Right (Hymn 239)
March - Stand for the Right
April - Choice (Jesus Christ teaches me to choose the right)
May - When I am Baptized
June - Nephi's Courage
July - The Wise Man or a song of your choice (I choose the right by living Gospel Principles)
August - I'm trying to be like Jesus

I am really excited about this year's songs! 
We already know Stand for the Right, The Wise Man, I'm trying to be like Jesus and Nephi's Courage.  This really simplifies things and gives more time to teach the other songs. 
Think ahead to the program.  You have at least 9 months to get ready but it's not too soon to be thinking about it! 

Some ideas to think about:

You can have a solo in the program, a class or a handpicked group of children to sing one of the songs.  This adds variety to the program and is really nice.  You can think now of which song you could do this with, or you could save the selection for a song that your primary is struggling to learn.  Sometimes, for whatever reason, a group of children just aren't learning the song - despite all your efforts.  Don't keep struggling with it, let it go.  It will still be in the program, and still be beautiful, but you don't have to beat yourself up about it, assign it to a group or as a solo.

You can also add in musical accompaniment.  Include a violin, oboe or another approved instrument in one of the songs.  Every ward has musical talent!  You can ask a child who plays the piano to accompany or to play a verse of a song before the primary begins to sing.   (Be sure to give them plenty of time to practice!)

Ask a family to sing one of the songs.  I have often thought how beautiful it would be to have a family sing.  Parents and children together. 

In the months where you choose the songs, look through the sharing time ideas.  There are often suggested songs to use during sharing time that work perfectly for the theme.  You can also look in the topical index in the back of the songbook and hymnal for songs that work with that theme.

Check out pages 26-29 in this year's Sharing Time Outline.  There are instructions for how to use music in primary and ideas to help teach songs, and teach the gospel through music. 

I bought the Clive Romney CD at Deseret Book of this year's songs.  I was surprised to find a snare drum in the chorus of Choose the Right.  I know it would never work in Sacrament Meeting, but it would be really fun one Sunday in singing time!  (with permission of course)