Principles for Teaching Music

The Joy and Power of Primary Music


“Those who choose, conduct, present, and accompany the music may influence the spirit of reverence in our meetings more than a speaker does.”

—Boyd K. Packer, “Reverence Invites Revelation,” October 1991 general conference

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"My Joy is Full / I Know That My Savior Loves Me,"



Prepare Spiritually

  • Your own spiritual preparation and testimony are what will invite the Spirit to confirm the doctrines in the hearts of the children.
  • Prepare to teach the gospel message of a song by studying the scriptures references given in the Children's Songbook for each song.
  • Ask yourself these questions: What question can I ask to help the children understand the gospel message of the song? What testimony can I leave with the children that will strengthen them?

Participate in Councils

  • Members of the Primary presidency help the ward Primary music leaders and pianists understand how music contributes to Primary.
  • Under the direction of the Primary presidency, Primary music leaders and pianists plan, teach, and direct the music for sharing time, including songs that will be part of the children's sacrament meeting presentation. They may help with music for the nursery class and other Primary classes as requested.
  • Music leaders can contact the Primary presidency to share experiences, solve problems, seek counsel and review plans for music time.

Minister to Others

  • Look for opportunities to show love to each child. Give sincere compliments to children who participate, even if an answer they give is not exactly what you were looking for.
  • Praising children's good behavior will promote good behavior better than asking children to stop bad behavior.
  • Love prompts us to prepare differently. When we love those we serve, we pray for each of them. We do all we can to know their interests, achievements, needs and concerns. We tailor our music time to meet their needs.

Teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ

  • Help the children understand they are learning not only a song but also a gospel principle.
  • As you teach with the Spirit, the Holy Ghost will bear witness of the truthfulness of the gospel principles you are singing.
  • Bear a brief testimony to the children of gospel truths found in the Primary songs. Help the children understand that singing is one way they can bear testimony and feel the Spirit.

Administer the Program

  • Reverence promotes learning. When we create an atmosphere of mutual consideration and order, the Spirit can be with us more abundantly.
  • Prelude music creates an atmosphere of reverence and helps the children prepare to learn the gospel. Have music playing as the children arrive.
  • As you prepare for the sacrament meeting presentation, make sure the children know the words well and can sing from their hearts. Songs could be sung by large or small groups, as solos or duets, by a family, or with stringed instrument accompaniment.

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