December 11, 2010

Christmas Singing Time

This idea was shared by Kristen @ I Sing U Sing.  She has so many wonderful ideas that I've used over the last few weeks!  I did modify it a bit to fit my primary.  Some of the songs I chose are different & therefore I needed to use different scripture references.  I'm going to use a mini Nativity set I was given when first married many years ago.  It's one that I've always allowed my girls (that's right, no boys!) to play with even when little.  I will have all of the pieces set up except for the following:

Nativity scene:  

1.  Angel- Helaman 14:2 (sing "Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus", CS 36.  Flip chart)
2.  Mary- Luke 2:15-16 (sing "The Shepherd's Carol", CS 40.  Flip chart)
3.  Jesus- Luke 2:7 (sing "Away In a Manger", CS 42.  Chime/flip chart)
4.  Shepherd- Luke 2:8-10 (sing "Stars Were Gleaming", CS 37.  Chime/flip chart)
5.  Wiseman- Matt. 2:1, 11 (sing "Picture a Christmas", CS 50. Pics/Frame)

These pieces I will place throughout the room, in plain sight.  The children will choose one to place with the other pieces of the Nativity Scene & we'll sing the song that corresponds with it.  The Sr. Primary will also read the scriptures before singing the song.

The flip chart for "Samuel Tells..." is one from another wonderful site.  I love it when people share!  The flip chart for "The Shepherd's Carol" is one that I did and you're welcome to download.  The idea I got from the website or blog linked for "Picture A Christmas" pics/frame is worth checking out, too.  I did download my own pictures, but I didn't keep a file for it.  The flip charts for the other 2 songs & one chime chart were used by former choristers in my ward & I'm reusing them.

I made the chime chart for "Stars Were Gleaming".  I only did the first verse.  The main notes are the letters above the words that are written in blue marker (it's kind of hard to tell with this picture).  The purple letters are the harmony notes that the Sr. Primary can do.  I included the notes of the last 2 measures of the song.  It just needs to have the chimes to give it a finished sound:)  

Whew!  This Christmas Singing Time should take 2 weeks accomplish.  I'm counting on it anyway:)  We're singing songs in Sacrament Meeting this Sunday as well.  So it'll be nice to sing different Christmas songs.  Have a great weekend!  Get that shopping done:)

December 9, 2010

I Need My Heavenly Father

This week I'll be teaching the children a new reverence song.  It's a short & simple one.  I made a flip chart for it anyway.  It's only 2 pages and the last page repeats the words to slightly different notes.  So, the * represents musical repeat signs.

December 8, 2010

Could I Hold the Baby?

The primary children learned "Could I Hold the Baby?" 5 years ago for Christmas.  It is by far their favorite Christmas song!  Back when we first learned the song, the composer hadn't published it & we asked her for permission to sing it.  She granted us permission:)  I've just learned that she finally had it published!!  So I just bought the MP3 download ($1.60) with the voice & orchestral accompaniment.  It's a favorite song of mine as well.  I love it so much that I figured out the basic guitar chords for it and I'm playing/singing it at my Guitar Christmas Performance on December 15th.  Hmmm......maybe I could make those chords available.  I don't know about copyright laws, so.......?

I just wanted to share this information with you.  It's a beautiful song that brings the spirit into the room like no other Christmas song I know.  Please do a sample listen of it.  You won't regret it!   Do it, do it, do it.....

Thanks To Our Father

I set a goal to teach the Primary children more reverence songs.  They just didn't know very many & I was getting bored with rotating through the few they knew.  And I have only been the Primary Chorister since June!

As you know, we get very little time each week to teach the children the monthly songs as directed in the yearly outline.  So how can one teach them more songs above & beyond that which is required?  The Primary Presidency helped lead the way with the answer:  Prelude Music.   Our pianist plays the reverence song I want them to sing as they are coming into Primary.  If I have a flip chart, I'll ask for helpers to hold them up front for me.  As the children (Jr. Primary only) come in, I begin singing the song (all by myself! Scary, I know.)  But then the children immediately focus on the song & join in when they feel comfortable.  This prevents the children from getting giggly with their neighbors & instantly brings the spirit into the room.  We will sing the song over & over again as we first learn it.  Repetition!  So far the songs are pretty short.  When I feel the children are focused, I have them finish the song & then turn the time over to the Primary Presidency to open with prayer.  It's been wonderful!  We've learned 2 songs so far.  The first one was so short I didn't bother doing a flip chart.  It was "Reverence" on page 27a of the Children's Songbook.  I just sang it over & over (3 or 4 times) until most kids had joined me.  We did this song for 3 consecutive weeks & they had it learned.

The first 2 weeks that we learn a reverence song, we not only sing it for prelude/opening song but we also sing in during middle exercises right before the scripture & talk is given.  This way the Sr. Primary can also learn it.

I've uploaded my "Thanks To Our Father" flip chart to my scribd account for you to access & download for your own use.  One picture is of my sister, her husband, and their little baby girl.  It is used with their permission.

The Nativity Song

This is a flip chart of "The Nativity Song" from the Children's Songbook, pg. 52.   I finally learned how to convert it to PDF form!!  It only took me 3 weeks:(  Anyway, it is one of the 3 songs our Primary children are singing in Sacrament Meeting on Dec. 12th.  Our pianist plays the introduction only at the beginning of the song.  We cut it out between the verses to help the song move along.  The idea of the introduction was meant to be played while pictures could be swapped out between the verses.  However, no visuals are supposed to be used in Sacrament Meetings.

This is how the Primary are singing the song:
Verse 1:  Jr. & Sr. Primary sing
Verse 2:  Sr. Girls Only
Verse 3:  Jr. Primary Only
Verse 4:  Sr. Boys Only
Verse 5:  Jr. & Sr. Primary sing

Because I haven't yet figured out how to post a flip chart onto my blog, I submitted it to Sugardoodle.  They have posted it for me:)

December 5, 2010

Christmas Music Chain

I've had a pretty busy week.  I've spent a lot of time preparing myself & my piano students for next weeks Christmas recital.  Then on Saturday, my plan of making suckers with my girls extended from 4 hours to over 10!  Therefore, Singing Time preparations for today were non-existent.  I came up with a flimsy plan late last night & got to work on it this morning.  As I was preparing, I perused some of my favorite blogs.  I want to give a huge THANK YOU to Kristen @ "I Sing U Sing" for the idea of a Christmas Paper Chain for Singing!

Our primary is singing 3 songs in Sacrament Meeting next Sunday, December 12th.  We've been working on the songs since the first week in November.  So for today, I just wanted to go through each of the songs once and then move on.  But to what?  This is where that wonderful idea comes in:

We made a 7 link paper chain using 3 colors.  Each color represent one of the songs they are performing next week.  Each night they are to rip off a color & then practice the assigned song for their family.  The idea is to get them ready for Sunday by implementing the practicing at home for the week.

I had each "chain kit" put together & in a bag.  I handed the bags out to the teachers for their class.  Once we'd sung the 3 songs, we spent the rest of Singing Time putting the chains together.  
The children will definitely be ready for next week!!

Thanks, Kristen!