Teaching Music


 

“We are able to feel and learn very quickly through music … some spiritual things that we would otherwise learn very slowly.”

—Boyd K. Packer, “The Arts and the Spirit of the Lord,” Ensign, Aug. 1976, 61

IDEAEXPLANATION
AH, HUM, OOWrite “AH,” “HUM” and “OO” on separate papers. As children arrive, ask them to hold up the signs. As other children enter the room, have sign holders alternately show their paper to signal how to sing along with the prelude, whether “AH,” “HUM” or “OO.”
Have child provide preludeInvite a Primary child to play Primary songs on the piano or on a woodwind or string instrument for the prelude.
Begin learning a new songInvite the children to begin learning the melody of a new song by listening to it or humming it during the prelude time.
Create a reverent atmosphereHave prelude music playing as the children enter the Primary room.
Involve the childrenHave children participate in prelude music by having them sing as others enter the Primary room.
Hum a melodyHave children listen as you hum the melody to a song they have been learning. Invite the children to hum the melody with you as part of the prelude music.

Inviting Reverence

IDEAEXPLANATION
Wiggle songUse an activity song to help get out wiggles. For example, sing “Give Said the Little Stream.” Have the children stand on the “S” words and clap on the “G” words. Finish with a quiet request for everyone to sit and fold their arms.
Select appropriate techniqueChoose a technique that is appropriate to convey both the message and spirit of the song. For instance, songs about sacred topics should be taught with respect and reverence.
Share how music invites the SpiritAsk the children to share how the song makes them feel. Explain that listening to good music helps us feel the Spirit and keeps our minds clear.
Listen and fold armsListen to my voice and do as I say . . . Put your finger on your nose. . . head . . . knee. Then whisper fold your arms if you can hear my voice.”
Watch and sing softlyWatch as I raise my hands high. Now, watch when I lower my hands and sing the song more quietly and slowly.” OR: Hold your hands apart in front of you and invite the children to watch as you sing. The closer you move your hands together, the softer they should sing.
Recognize reverent
behavior
Music can help children calm down and prepare to listen and learn. As they listen, watch and follow instructions, thank them for being reverent.

Teaching a Song

IDEAEXPLANATION
Sequence picturesChoose pictures that represent phrases of the song. Display them in the wrong order and have children put them in order as they sing the song several times.
EchoSing a phrase to the children and have them repeat the melody and words you just sang to them. The group could be divided into several smaller echo groups.
Fill in the blankSing a song and leave out three important words. Ask the children to tell you the missing words. Talk about the meaning of the words.
Teach the gospel messageAsk questions and share brief answers about the meaning of words and phrases to help children understand the gospel principle in the song.
Add actionsInvite the children to think of actions to go with one line of the song. Then sing and do the actions together.
Stand for questions, sit for answersHave children stand when they sing questions in the song and sit down when they sing the answers.
Repeat in a variety of waysRepetition helps the children learn new songs. Repeat songs in a variety of ways, such as whispering, humming, clapping the beat, varying the tempo, or singing while sitting and standing.
WordstripsWrite words or phrases from the song on strips of paper. Begin with wordstrips in place on the board. Sing the song with the children. Ask a child to remove one wordstrip, and sing the song again. Repeat until all of the wordstrips have been removed.
Listen for answersIntroduce each phrase of a song by having children listen for the answer to a question while you sing the phrase to them.
Divide into groupsDivide into two groups and have one group sing only the first two words of each phrase and have the other group complete the phrase. Change groups and repeat. You can divide the groups in many ways: boys/girls, by colors on clothes, color of eyes, birthdays in the first and second part of the year, etc.

Reviewing a Song

IDEAEXPLANATION
QuestionsWrite a question on the board about the message of the song to see if the children can figure out what song you will be singing. Have the children find the answer to the question as they sing the song.
First letterWrite the first letter of each word of a phrase from a song to help the children remember the words or to guess the song.
DrawDraw pictures that represent the words in a song to help the children picture the words in their minds. The children could also help you draw the pictures.
Hot and coldHave a child leave the room and another child hide an object. As the child re-enters the room have the children begin to sing. The closer the searcher gets to the object the louder the children sing. The farther he is from the object the softer they sing.
Guessing bagPut objects that represent the words in a song in a bag. Have a child choose one object out of the bag. Ask the child what the object represents in the song. Have the children who have chosen the objects stand in the correct order of the words in the song.
Name that tuneName that tune: Play three notes of the song and have a child guess the song. Add a note at a time until the song is identified correctly. Invite the child who identified the song to help you lead the song.
Pass an objectPass an object and sing until the pianist stops playing; then the child holding the object has to say the next word in the song.
Girls, boys lip-synchHave the girls sing out loud and the boys lip-synch; then reverse for the next section or verse.
Children's favoritesGive each child a paper heart. Ask them to write their favorite Primary song and their name on it. Put them in a container. Choose a few to sing. Tell the children that Primary songs can be a source of comfort, guidance and inspiration and that we can sing them almost anytime, anywhere.
Different singing stylesMake a cube out of paper or cardboard. On each side of the cube write a different way to sing (clap the melody, do hand actions, boys sing, girls sing, hum the melody, sing softly, etc.). Invite a child to roll the cube to decide how they will review the song.

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