Repetition game

For Stake Children’s choir we are working on a very complicated and difficult piece. The kids learned all the parts last week, and this week we’re going to run it over and over again so they can learn when their entrances are and the order of phrases.

I’ve decided that I will bring a large (not wide-mouthed) mason jar to primary, set it on the table, and set my three-step ladder next to it. The kids who get picked will have the opportunity to climb up the ladder and try to drop a small plastic animal into the jar. This is more difficult than it sounds because of the odd shape of the toy, the small opening, and the distance of the drop.

I’ll keep score on the board of how many animals make it into the jar, and the winning team will get the satisfaction of winning.



Descant for Joy to the World, Hymns 201

Our Primary is singing with the ward choir for the first verse of “Joy to the World” during sacrament meeting. I made this descant to go with the last verse. It fits with the piano music in the LDS Hymnbook.  It is not for the children to sing– it is for a few high sopranos.

Here’s the sheet music

In the key of E flat by request

You may print and copy this music for private, non-commercial use.

Two-Part Arrangement of Far, Far Away on Judea’s Plains

For those of you who like to sing Christmas Hymns with your Senior Primary, here is a two-part arrangement I worked out for the Hymn Far, Far Away on Judea’s Plains by John Menzies Macfarlane. It’s Hymn 212, and the pianist still plays the regular parts out of the Hymnbook. I really love this Hymn’s echoing chorus, but the echoes are split up throughout all four parts in the Hymnbook arrangement. So, I stuck all my favorite bits into voice 2 of this arrangement.



So much for 2013…

( v _ v, )

I’m done for. They threw me a curveball and released me immediately following the program. My main thought was, “I was just about to get to the fun part of the year!!” I was so looking forward to doing missionary songs, and Christmas, and planning for next year! One of my favorite people is taking over though, and I know the kids are in good hands.

So, farewell until I get called again…

I might (infrequently) post other music-related things, because I still am co-conducting the stake children’s choir and I teach private singing classes, but I know that I will be a slacker without a deadline!

I can be a missionary by serving others.

My favorite singing times are the ones that strongly reinforce the lesson topic in a fun and engaging way.


I have been wanting to teach the second and third verses of “‘Give’, said the Little Stream” ever since I got this calling about a year ago. An interesting thing about this song: the printed lyrics are “the fields grow greener still” but nobody sings that! Everybody sings, “the grass grows greener still”–it is alliterative 🙂 My philosophy is; there is no point in trying to correct this mistake because its cultural inertia is too great. But… I always sing fields!


Here’s my plan:

Props: green twin sheet, blue twin sheet (or any blue and green fabric), flowers, squirt bottle, picture of Christ and picture of service (good Samaritan, or missionaries, etc)

Vs 1 have the sunbeams come up to hold the blue sheet. Have another class (ctr 4?) come up and hold the green sheet. Sing the verse, having the kids shake the appropriate color sheet when we sing about the stream (blue sheet) and fields (green). Repeat with other classes.

Vs 2 have a new, taller class come hold the blue sheet and another class hold flowers and the squirt bottle. Coach the kids to make their flowers “droop.” Have the kids with the blue sheet be the rain clouds and shake the sheet behind and above the flower-holders. Sing the song, squirting the flowers with the squirt bottle when appropriate. Choose your squirt bottle kid carefully or have a teacher do it!

Vs 3 time to take the reverence up a few notches. Take some time to explain what the rain and stream did for the flowers and grass. (Water is needed for life) Read one or more scriptures about Christ, the Living Water:

Living Water
See also Jesus Christ.
A symbol of the Lord Jesus Christ and his teachings. As water is essential to sustain physical life, the Savior and his teachings (living water) are essential for eternal life.
With joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation, Isa. 12:3
They have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, Jer. 2:13
Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, John 4:6–15
If any man thirst, let him come into me, and drink, John 7:37
The rod of iron led to the fountain of living waters, 1 Ne. 11:25
Partake of the waters of life freely, D&C 10:66
My commandments shall be a well of living water, D&C 63:23 (The Guide to the Scriptures, Living Water)

Make the connection between the grass, flowers, and us, that our spirits need the spiritual water just as much as the drooping flowers and brown grass need the temporal water. Maybe ask how we can get the Living Water (read scriptures, pray, go to church, give service) and have the kids answer.

Sing verse 3, holding up the pictures, and bear your testimony after you finish that by serving other people we are serving Christ. Then have the kids sing with you.

I’m going to do this activity with Sr Primary too. They may complain, but they are still kids and like to be silly too.

If we have enough time, I’ll have them pass out Hymnbooks and we’ll sing “A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief.” I’ll have some puppets for a few kids to act out the story.