Monday, March 20, 2017

Singing Time tip: don't be afraid to repeat!

I attended a stake primary training when I was a fairly new chorister. At the time, the stake Primary chorister reminded us not to be afraid to repeat activities, that the children liked some degree of repetition. I love to create new things and come up with fun ideas so my version of repeating things ended up being two or three times a year at most of some of my most successful singing time activities.

We have a new chorister this year who is balancing her schedule with three children under the age of six, including a baby. She is not afraid to repeat and it has been so fun to see how well the children are learning the songs and enjoying the repetition.

In January, she mostly focused on a "right door" vs "wrong door" activity where there was a right way to sing the song and a wrong way to see the song. It was so fun to see the children get excited to pick a door week after week, as she moved from the first verse to the second verse but stayed on the same activity.

In February, she brought in finger lights and turned off the lights while we sang. The kids were so excited the second week when they realized she was bringing the lights back again.

Of course, choristers need to balance repetition with what's working with their primary but for choristers that are overwhelmed or short on time, it's a nice reminder that sometimes, the most effective way to teach a song and still give the children a memorable, fun experience is to do what you did the week before!

Fun Tip:
One of my favorite ways to "repeat" during singing time was to have the children stand in four corners of the room with their class and teachers. We would go through the song line by line, with each corner of the room singing just that line. It created a fun echo effect and was a really quick but interesting way to learn a song quickly if we were having any trouble spots. Children have such quick minds and memorize so easily!

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