Thursday, November 12, 2009

Music Melody Map

I remember doing this for music class when I was in Elementary School.  The teacher made this weird map of lines, symbols, squiggles, etc. that correlated to the melody of a musical piece. I remember specifically doing this for some of the Nutcracker Ballet pieces.

Anyway, I thought I would try it with my kids to teach them "Joy to the World" since it is a fairly simple song, but can be tricky due to holding out words over multiple notes. Using this method, we could sing the song over and over and hopefully keep their attention. You could do this for any song

I told them we were going to learn a new song, then showed them a poster that looked like this:

I had fun with them and asked if anyone knew the song. Of course I got lots of puzzled looks and remarks. So I had our pianist play the first few notes until they recognized it.  Then I sand them for it while I followed the "map" with my baton. (Baton's are excellent pointers...) 

Then I called on volunteers  to help me follow the map while the rest followed  with their fingers in the air. I also shrunk this down and put 4 on an 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of cardstock, cut them out, and passed them out to the older kids AFTER they had practiced in the air with me a few times.
 I asked for them back, but told them if they wanted one to take home and practice :) they could come by after primary to get one.

After a few repetitions, I'd ask them what words went to the blue marks, or the red marks, etc. They did really well!
How it works:
Blue marks: Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Purple: Let earth receive her King!
Green: Let every heart, Prepare him room
Red: And Saints and Angels Sing! And Saints and Angels Sing!
Orange: And saints, and saints, and Angels sing!

Just follow the marks with your fingers to fit the words.
If this doesn't make sense, I could make a video...
...but then I'd have to sing a solo...
...and reveal my identity....
...but I would do it...
 ... just for you. :)
 So, let me know if I need to.

P.S. I have the PDF of the little pass out cards if anyone is interested. I really wish there was a way to just post those on here....does anyone know a way to do this?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I am Glad for Many Things

There are several songs about "Thanks" in the Children's Songbook, so we have been quickly learning a few.

One easy one to do (and one that most probably know already) is
"I am Glad for Many Things" -Children's Songbook pg.151

For this one, I started telling them what I was grateful for: my family.

Then I cued the pianist and sang the song for them.

When we finished, I had my "boing" ball and asked them
"What are you grateful for?"

I then tossed the ball to a child with a raised hand. (When they catch the ball, the ball goes "boing!" least most of the time...sometimes they had to punch the ball again....) They said something they were glad for and tossed it back. I did this for 3 or 4 children, then we sang the song again.

**I got my "boing" ball at Fred Meyer's for about $10.00

Monday, November 9, 2009

Pumpkin song pick

OOPS! I thought I had this one posted! Pumpkins are still in season though, right?! 

Our program is over! YAY! I don't normally get teary in public, but those kids definitely made it hard to keep the tears from flowing as we sang Families can be Together Forever with the congregation. They did absolutely fantastic. AND, I didn't even need the motivational chart!

For primary, after the program, we gave the kids a little break and just sang some of the fun "wiggle" songs. I wanted a fun way to choose the songs though, so I found this idea on sugardoodle posted by Amanda Fennema.

I took a pumpkin and printed our various facial features for our Mr. Pumpkin. I cut them out, and wrote a song title on the back. I chose a child to come up and pick a feature and put it on the pumpkin. I put double sided sticky tape on the back of the features and it worked ok. However, next time I will probably do it like (the pictures below came from their site.)

For the eyes, I just wrote down one song title on one, and had them put up in pairs. You could write the same title twice, or you could just have them pick one eye at at time, so each eye has a different title. The kids really had fun making their own pumpkin face, and getting to do all those action songs.

I found templates for face features here:

Christmas Devotional

Our ward includes some senior citizens at a retirement home, located across the street to our chapel. The different auxillaries take turns doing a devotional for anyone who wants to attend, in their dining hall. It's the primary's turn in December. Our primary presidency has planned a special Christmas devotional that basically tells the nativity story with scriptures and songs.

I thought this is a great idea and thought it might be a great opportunity for your primary's as well. I know my kids love to meet all the "Grandma's and Grandpa's" after the program, and having had a grandparent in a nursing home, know the residents would love it even more.

Here is our program, but you could substitute other songs and scriptures:

Read:    Luke 2:1-5
Enter:    Mary and Joseph
Song:    When Joseph went to Bethlehem (we're going to have our Valiant 11 Boys each solo a sentence in this song = 5 solos)
Read:    Luke 2:6-7
Song:    Away in a Manger (3 CTR 6 girls will sing the verses and the primary joins in for the chorus)
Read:    Luke 2:8-12
Enter:    Shepherds
Song:     The Shepherd's Carol
Read:     Luke 2:13-14
Enter:     Angels
Song:     Joy to the World
Read:     Matthew 2:1-2, 7-11
Enter:     Wise Men
Song:     Silent Night

The Angels will be all the girls, the shepherds are the Jr. boys, and the Wise Men are the Sr. boys. Mary and Joseph are the two oldest boy and girl in the primary. We debated about how to have the characters "Enter" but we decided on having a "stage" where Mary and Joseph will be and then the children are either sides of the stage, sitting down. When it comes their turn to enter, they will  stand up and remain standing.

I am excited about this and the extra opportunity to remember the importance of this Christmas Season and share it with others.