Friday, September 14, 2012

Follow the Leader!

This week is our Stake Conference so I am taking a little vacation from preparing a Singing Time lesson.

However, I have a fun singing time planned for an upcoming Sunday where I will have both Senior and Junior primaries together for BOTH hours! It will involve a number of activities to keep the children interested and attentive.

Here's an easy one you can use for this Sunday that I've been "inventing" over the last few weeks as I've been pondering how to use my last few Sundays before the program:

Follow the Leader
Tell the children you want to see how well they can follow the leader - you! The purpose of this easy activity is to encourage children to WATCH YOU while you are conducting.

Show them the motions and ask them if they can guess what each one means. Have them raise their hand and call on them.

Proceed to conduct, going back and forth with the different motions during a song to make it a game, but also to remind them to watch you carefully. I imagine every chorister has a different set of motions that they use, but this is what I do when I lead:

"I can't hear you!" - I put my hand behind my ear and lean forward a little to remind them that I can't hear them and that they need to sing louder.

"Louder!" - I also wave my conducting arm in a bigger pattern to remind children to sing louder.

"Shhhh!" - I draw my non-leading hand downward and even purse my lips to remind them to sing more quietly.

"Quieter!" - I also wave my conducting hand in a quieter motion to remind children to sing more quietly.

"Stop!" - I put both my pointer fingers over my lips to indicate the should not be singing.

"Stand up!" - I hold my hands palms up, and lift them upward. I use this during the program to remind them to stand up to sing the song.

"Sit down!" - I hold my hands palms down, and push them downard. I use this during the program to remind them to sit down to sing the song.

"Staccato!" - Okay, I've never used this motion in the program but I have use it during practice. I hold my pointer and thumb together and bounce them in the air in a staccato beat.

Alligator mouth - I have also used my hands like an alligator mouth, getting bigger and bigger to indicate a crescendo (singing louder and louder) and getting smaller and smaller to indicate a decrescendo (getting quieter and quieter).

"Hold it!" - Remind children to hold a note when I hold my hand out.

"Start .... NOW!" - Remind children to all come in at the exact same time in the song by watching me as I indicate when to start.

I think I will throw in a few fun ones just to keep it interesting. I don't want to overdo this because of timing but I am also thinking of using subtle movements to indicate:

"Spin one time around." - Move finger in a spinning motion.

You get the picture ...
Parting shot:

I just got around to posting my Conducting Elephant pic from two weeks ago though, so I thought I'd repost it again, and wish you all a happy singing time review. I have just two more practices left before our primary program, so I am already planning my last two lessons. Stay posted! I am super excited about my lesson in two weeks. I may post that one first :) I think the children and presidency are both going to love it.


  1. Can you please post your idea for the combined jr. and sr. primary singing time?!?! I have to put together a 45-minutes combined singing time together for next week and I am STUMPED. Any help would be so appreciated!!

  2. Thanks for asking! I just posted two versions that could both be used for a combined, longer singing time. I hope they are helpful :)