Lesson 39

Music Makes Me Happy

“Lesson 39: Music Makes Me Happy,” Primary 1 (2000), 129–31


To help each child understand that good music can help us feel happy and remind us of Heavenly Father and Jesus.


  1. Prayerfully study 1 Samuel 16:19–23; Ether 6:2–12; and Doctrine and Covenants 25:12.

  2. Materials needed:

    1. A Bible, a Book of Mormon, and a copy of the Doctrine and Covenants.

    2. Picture 1-61, Exodus from Nauvoo (Gospel Art Picture Kit 410; 62493); picture 1-68, David Plays for King Saul; picture 1-69, Jaredite Barges.

  3. Make the necessary preparations for any Enrichment Activities you want to use.

Note to the teacher: You may want to invite the Primary music leader to help you with this lesson.

Learning Activities

Invite a child to give the opening prayer.

Attention Activity

Have the children form a circle and sing “If You’re Happy” (Children’s Songbook, p. 266) several times, using phrases such as “clap your hands,” “tap your toes,” and “blink your eyes.” Improvise actions as suggested by the words.

If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.

If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.

If you’re happy and you know it,

Then your face will surely show it.

If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.

  • How did you feel when you were singing this song?

Good music can help us feel happy

Explain that happy, beautiful, or peaceful music can help us feel good inside. When we are sad, angry, or frightened, good music can help us feel happy again.


Display picture 1-68, David Plays for King Saul. Tell the story of David playing his harp for King Saul when the king did not feel well, as found in 1 Samuel 16:19–23.

  • Why do you think David’s music made King Saul feel better?

  • What musical instruments do you like to hear?

Briefly pantomime the instruments as they are mentioned.


Have each child pretend to play a musical instrument, such as a piano, violin, guitar, flute, or harp, while you hum a familiar Primary song or hymn.


Explain that singing can also help us feel happy. Sing “Happy Song” (Children’s Songbook, p. 264), using the actions described below:

Ducks in the pond quack a happy song (open and close thumb and fingers like a duck’s bill).

Mother hens cackle the whole day long (put hands under arms to make wings).

Birds in their nests (put hands in the shape of a nest) and wind in the treetops (wave hands above head like trees blowing in the wind)

All join in singing a happy song.

(© 1963 by D. C. Heath and Company. Reprinted by permission.)

  • What Primary songs help you feel happy?


Let the children choose a favorite song, and sing it with them.


Show picture 1-61, Exodus from Nauvoo, and tell the following story in your own words:

When the pioneers left their homes in Nauvoo and moved west, they packed everything they could in covered wagons or handcarts. They had to leave many of their belongings behind because there was no room for them. Traveling was hard, and the pioneers were usually very tired by the end of the day.

At night the pioneers gathered their animals and wagons into a circle and built a large fire in the middle of the circle. Brigham Young, the prophet, knew the people would be happier on their journey if they had music. He encouraged them to sing and dance. The pioneers who brought fiddles, trumpets, and drums used them to make music. Everyone sang and danced around the fire. One of their favorite songs was “Come, Come, Ye Saints.” The music gave the pioneers strength and courage. When they went to bed at night after singing and dancing, they felt happy.


Have the children sit in a circle and pretend to be pioneers sitting around the campfire. Sing “Pioneer Children Sang As They Walked” (Children’s Songbook, p. 214) or another favorite Primary song with the children.

Music helps us remember Heavenly Father and Jesus

Explain that music in church reminds us of Heavenly Father and Jesus. Ask the children to close their eyes and pretend to hear the music playing in the chapel before sacrament meeting.

  • How can music help you be reverent in church?

Explain that Heavenly Father and Jesus love to hear us sing. Read aloud the first two phrases of Doctrine and Covenants 25:12 (through a prayer unto me). Explain that singing church songs is like praying to Heavenly Father. We are thanking Heavenly Father for the blessings he gives us. Singing songs about Heavenly Father and Jesus reminds us that they love us and want to help us. Explain that the songs we sing in sacrament meeting are called hymns.

  • Why do we sing songs and hymns in church?


Show picture 1-69, Jaredite Barges, and tell the story of the Jaredites coming to the promised land, as found in Ether 6:2–12. Explain that the Jaredites sang songs of praise to Heavenly Father and Jesus while they were inside their barges, or ships.

  • Why do you think the Jaredites sang songs on their voyage?

  • How do you think the Jaredites felt when the wind and the waves hit their barges?

  • How would singing help them when they were afraid?

  • Have you ever sung a song when you were afraid? How did it help you?


Share a time when music made you feel happy. Remind the children that Heavenly Father and Jesus love to hear them sing good songs. When they sing, they can feel happy and remember that Heavenly Father and Jesus love them.

Enrichment Activities

Choose some of these activities to use during the lesson.

  1. Sing “Fun to Do” (Children’s Songbook, p. 253), “Sing a Song” (Children’s Songbook, p. 253), or “I Think the World Is Glorious” (Children’s Songbook, p. 230).

  2. If the class is small, have each child pick a favorite Primary song, and then sing those songs together as a class.

  3. Make paper cup shakers for the children to use as rhythm instruments. Put a small amount of rice or sand inside a paper cup. Tape a second cup to the first so that no rice or sand can fall out. Sing a Primary song while the children use their shakers. You could also bring other objects to be used as rhythm instruments, such as bells, blunt sticks to tap together, or wood blocks to tap against.

  4. Play music from the Children’s Songbook audiocassettes (52505 or 52428) or compact discs (50505 or 50428), and have the children sing with it or move to it.

  5. In your own words, tell the story of when the Prophet Joseph Smith and other Church leaders were in Carthage Jail. Evil men had put them in jail even though they had done nothing wrong. The Prophet knew his life was in danger, and he felt very sad. He asked his friend John Taylor to sing for him. John was very sad too, and he told Joseph that he didn’t feel like singing, but Joseph encouraged him. As John sang a song about Jesus, everyone in the jail felt better. The song reminded them that Heavenly Father and Jesus loved them. It gave them strength and courage.

Additional Activities for Younger Children

  1. Sing some of the children’s favorite songs with them. Have the children clap quietly as they sing. Talk with the children about how music makes them happy.

  2. Prepare a recording of different styles of music for the children to listen to. Make sure the music is appropriate for the Sabbath. You may want to use some of the selections on the audiocassette that accompanies this manual.

  3. Tell the children that Heavenly Father has given us many different kinds of music. Some music is made by people, and other music is made by things in the world around us. Name several things in nature that make sounds that are like music, such as the wind, rain, birds, bees, and thunder. Have the children imitate each sound.