The Purpose of Singing Time
The purpose of singing time is to help children feel the love of their Heavenly Father and learn the gospel of Jesus Christ. As you pray, you will receive personal revelation to fulfill this sacred calling. Singing with the children will help prepare them for the children’s sacrament meeting presentation.
Singing Time in Primary
The best way to teach a song is to first know the song yourself. The Church music website will help you become familiar with the words and melody of the song.
Do I know the song well enough to make eye contact with the children?
As you prayerfully study the song, decide what gospel principles are being taught. Ask yourself how you might use scriptural references from the weekly Come, Follow Me study.
How to Conduct a Song:
- Pitch-Level Conducting—An effective way to help children learn a song. This is done by moving your hand up and down according to the pitch in the melody.
- Standard Conducting Pattern—There are four standard conducting patterns used in conducting music. See the Children’s Songbook and the Conducting Course for examples.
The weekly Come, Follow Me—For Primary outlines will be helpful as you prepare singing time. The songs in the singing time music list and the scriptures will help children remember what they learned at home and in class.
Do I connect the doctrine to the words the children are singing?
As children sing, they can feel the Holy Ghost and learn the gospel of Jesus Christ. Spend more time singing than talking.
Do we sing more than we talk or play games?
Ideas to help children learn a song:
1. Add actions: Invite the children to think of actions to go with the words of the song.
2. Divide into groups: One group could sing the first part of a phrase, and another group could complete the phrase. Groups could be divided in many ways: boys and girls, clothing colors, birthday months, and so forth.
3. Missing words: Write key words from the song on different pieces of paper. Invite a child to select one or more of the key words. Sing the song while leaving out the words selected.
4. Questions and answers: Help children understand important gospel principles by asking a question that is answered in the song. Ask a question, and have the children sing the song to find the answer.
5. Repeat the song in a variety of ways: The children might benefit from repeating a song by whispering, humming, clapping the beat, varying the speed, or singing while moving.
6. Sequence pictures and word strips: Choose pictures or make word strips of phrases in a song. Display them in the wrong order, or place them around the room. Invite the children to put them in order as they sing the song.
7. First letter: Write the first letter of each word in a phrase to help the children remember the words.
Draw the children’s attention with an object, a picture, a scripture, an experience, or simply a whisper.
Do I engage the children in a way that helps them feel the Holy Ghost as they sing?
Ideas to Engage the Children during Singing Time
- “Listen to my voice and do as I say”: Whisper to the children, “If you can hear me, put your finger on your head . . . nose . . . knee, fold your arms,” and so on.
- Watch and sing: Invite the children to “watch as I raise my hands high. Now, watch when I lower my hands, and sing the song more quietly and/or slowly.”
- Involve children: Create opportunities for children to participate. For example, you could invite children to hold a picture or an object or assign small groups to sing different sections of a song.
- Movement: Incorporating actions and movement into the song helps children learn.
- Engage Older Children: They could be assigned to:
- Sit by and help a younger child.
- Help teach or lead a song.
- Sing harmony.
- Video: Primary Music Leader
Create an atmosphere that brings reverence, invites the Holy Ghost, teaches the gospel of Jesus Christ, and gives children joy as they sing songs.
How can I help the children feel Heavenly Father’s love for them?
- Prelude music: Prelude music can invite reverence.
- Know Each Child’s Name: When a child is called by their name, it helps them feel loved and valued.
- Do All Things with Love: Emulate the example of the Savior as you interact with the children.
As children learn gospel principles in the songs, their testimonies will grow. Invite children to share what they are learning and feeling. When prompted, share a brief testimony.
Do I help the children identify the feeling of the Holy Ghost?
Do I provide children opportunities to share their understanding of gospel principles?