“Family Home Evening Songbooks,” Ensign, Mar. 2001, 71
A few years ago our ward Primary music leader informed me that my young son was reverent in Primary, but he wasn’t singing the songs. I was surprised; I knew he liked to sing. When I asked him why he wasn’t participating, he said he didn’t know the words. So I decided he needed more reinforcement at home.
I asked the music leader what songs the Primary children were working on. Then I made copies of the songs from the Children’s Songbook (1989), enclosed them in clear protective sheets, and put them in binders for each family member. During the family home evenings that followed, the family member with the assignment to pick the songs would choose from our songbook.
It worked! This process helped our son learn the Primary songs, and it gave the rest of the family an opportunity to learn them as well.
Because of this successful experiment, our family has continued this each year. In January we ask the music leader what songs are in the new Primary sacrament meeting presentation. Then we add copies of these songs to the front of our songbooks. Even children too young to read can learn the songs when they hear them often.
Primary music leaders may be able to help in this process by regularly providing parents with the names of songs the children are working on. Since many parents do not have copies of the Children’s Songbook, where possible music leaders may want to provide copies of the songs for the children to take home.
Keep in mind that due to copyright restrictions, some of the songs in the Children’s Songbook may not be photocopied; those songs have a notice at the bottom of the page. Page 301 of the songbook has guidelines and restrictions for copying music.
Parents may also help children learn the songs by using the Children’s Songbook recordings available through Church distribution centers or by making their own customized tapes of the song.—Nancy Clemence, Ledgewood First Ward, Morristown New Jersey Stake