Teaching a NEW Primary Song





Every month, there are 3 suggested songs to teach the Primary children.  Discuss with your Primary President, and other chorister(s), which songs you’d like to focus on for each month. 

I try to pick one that THEY KNOW pretty well and one that they DON’T KNOW from the suggested songs.  Teaching 3 new songs from scratch a month would be a lot for them to learn!  So for the 3rd song, I will either sing it during a pick-and-choose Sunday, or as one of the opening songs that month.


On the first Sunday of the month, I introduce the NEW SONG (the suggested song that they are unfamiliar with).  To make Primary Singing Time interesting and fun and also bring the Spirit, I like to introduce the songs in different ways. 

I think introducing a song can be the most daunting of Sunday’s!  I LOVE repeating songs, doing pick-and-choose activities, and incorporating holiday’s (if you follow our Instagram, it’s packed with those ideas!) 

But introducing a NEW song seems… I don’t know… boring?  I don’t want to lose focus with their short attention spans by just telling them the words and then singing it over and over. 

So we’ve compiled some ideas as a resource on how to first introduce and help the children learn a BRAND NEW song.  One they’ve NEVER heard before. 


***With any and every new song, make sure you have the right attitude and prayer in your heart about the message the song will bring.  Be enthusiastic, saying something like, “Today we are going to be learning a wonderful song”.  You can also explain the words, message and story it conveys.






Alright, you’ve waited long enough!  Here are the ideas!!!!!!



1-Flipchart or Posters. 

I pretty much ALWAYS use a poster or flipchart for every song.  I feel most children are visual learners and this helps Junior and Senior learn the words through pictures and words.



Poster (my preference) 

Flipchart:

(this flipchart is from Finch Family games found HERE)




2-Compound Learning.

First, have them LISTEN to the song.  This can be played on the piano, your phone through the Sacred Music app, CD, cassette, or Youtube video, etc.

Second, let them HUM along to the melody.

Third, have them SWAY their bodies (or sway scarves/wands) and hum to the music.

Fourth, after showing and explaining the poster board/flipchart, SING the words to them (holding up the Poster or Flipchart).

Fifth, have THEM SING along.

Sixth, have them use shakers, paper plate drum, or clap/snap the rhythm as they sing along.



3-I sing, You Sing.

After explaining the meaning of the song and showing the visual, play the music to the song all the way through.

Sing the first line of the song with the piano, have the children repeat.  Sing the second line of the song, have them repeat.  Put the first and second line together and sing together.  Continue on for the whole song.

Make sure that before Primary you let your pianist know what you’re planning to do.  You could also start with learning the chorus of the song.




4-Guess the Visual.  Have the flipchart papers up on the board – all scrambled up and out of their correct order.  Sing the first line of the song and have them guess which flipchart paper matches the first line.  Continue this for each line of the song and put the flipchart in order.

For Senior Primary, you could have word strips of each line of the song (out of order).  Sing the first line and have them pick our which word strip is the correct one and have the children put the strips in order as you continue singing the rest of the song.




For Senior Primary, you could have word strips of each line of the song (out of order).  Sing the first line and have them pick our which word strip is the correct one and have the children put the strips in order as you continue singing the rest of the song.




5-Vanishing Flipchart Papers.

For this one, call up as many children as papers you have in the flipchart.  Each child holding one paper.  Sing the song with children, one flipchart paper at a time. 

After the whole song has been sung, take away 1 paper and have that child stay standing.  Sing the song and point to child as they sing that missing flipchart paper.  Continue taking away papers and having them sing the song again until they’re all gone!

Keep them up to the challenge using reverse psychology saying things like “Oh no! Can we do it now? (Yes!) Ok, here we go!” or “I don’t know, do you think you can remember this one????”


6-Bubblegum Blobs. 

For this idea, you’ll need a flipchart or poster hung up on the chalkboard.  Sing the song with children (with idea number 2 or 3 on our list above). 
Tell the children you stepped on some sticky bubble gum on your way to church and thought the gum could help with singing time.  Use one pink “gum blob” (pink paper or poster board cut into blob shape) to cover up a part of the song at a time.  Sing after each blob is added.




7-Fill in the Blank. 

Write the words to the song on the chalkboard leaving out a word on each line.  So intentionally NOT write some of the words to the song but draw a blank   _______   so it can be added in.  Sing the first line of the song.  Have the children listen and see what the blank word is and fill it in.  Continue on for each line of the song.

This is a great one to get the children really listening!




8-Disappearing Words (eraser pass). 

Write the words to the song on the chalkboard.  Have the children listen to the song as you point to the words.  Next, sing the song with the piano.  After, have the Primary sing along. Sing it one more time all together and tell the children to try to remember the words because they are going to start to disappear! 
As they sing the song, have them pass around the eraser.  Whoever ends up with it at the end of the song, gets to erase 2-3 words!!!  Sing again and pass the eraser!



9-Use Hand-Actions (or sign language). 
Sing the first line of the song.  Ask the children to think of a hand action to be used for the meaning of the words. 
Sing the second line and again, ask them to think of a hand-action that would represent the words.  Continue on for the whole song and combine all the hand-actions.  This is another great idea for getting them to really listen to the words!

(You could also sing the whole song together and only do sign language for KEY words).






10- Find It’s Home.

Have the words to the song on the board - cut into separate word-strips and in the correct song order.  Call up a child and give them a picture that matches up to one of the wordstrips. Have them match that picture to the word strip as you sing each line of the song.  Have children sing along as they learn.



11-Picture to Lyric Match.

(This one is the harder version of #10 "Find It's Home")

Have pictures and song lyrics for each line of the song on the board (like a flipchart, but cut the words out separate from the picture so they’re not together). Sing the first line of the song and have the children try to match the picture to the words.  Sing the song over and over until they’re all put in the correct place!






12-Listening Detective.

Start by explaining we have a new song case.  Listen up detectives!!! We need to find out:  Who is it about?  What do we learn?  How many times does it read “He” or “Love”, etc.? 
You may want to read the scripture reference at the bottom of the song in the Songbook.




13-Visual Object Lesson.

Show a quick visual lesson on what the song is about.  Just a quick object lesson before you have them listen to the melody.  In the Primary Music Instructions it say’s:
For example, the song “Faith” (Children’s Songbook, 96–97) mentions a little seed. You could show the children a seed and talk about how we show faith when we plant a seed; this could lead to a discussion about ways we show faith in Jesus Christ, as described in the song.
I also did this for “How Firm a Foundation” years ago.  This helps them understand the meaning behind the song.  Remember, it’s not just about learning the song and words, but learning and feeling the Spirit.


AND now 2 last small tips:

14- Have the Pianist play the song as the interlude so that the children can hear the melody and be familiar with the tune.

15- Find the song in A Children’s Songbook Companion and read what’s suggested!  This is a great resource for teaching the songs in the Primary Children’s Songbook.  I refer to this book often.  Find one HERE.  It's seriously been a lifesaver on some Sunday's when I need an idea on how to introduce a specific song!  and it also includes visuals on some songs!






**Remember!  This is the children's FIRST time hearing and learning this song!  So don’t feel like a failure if they don’t pick it up right away!  As you repeat and repeat this song, they will catch on! Also, remember the purpose is to help draw in the Spirit and let them feel the words and the meaning of the song.  


Good luck with your introducing your new song!  Pray and listen the Spirit as you prepare! You can do this!




-iheartprimarymusic

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