Friday, August 21, 2009

Program Review Activity #10--All Business

This activity doesn't sound fun on the surface, but it will really polish up those kids for their program. I do this activity the Sunday Before the Program. Most of the time this ends up being in the chapel, so it needs to be as reverent as possible.


Two Gigantic Elephant ear cut outs

Huge Smile cut out

Big Sunglasses (dollar store)


Explain to the children that their program is next Sunday! Tell them that today we are going to pretend its the real thing. Focus on Dynamics today, posture, and keeping your eyes on the chorister.

Start with warming up their voices. Have them begin with breathing. Have them breath in for 4 counts and out for 6. Do this a few times until everyone is very calm. Take one of the program songs and sing it in Oohs, aahs, mmms, eees, lalas. Talk to them about opening their mouths and throats to sings the music.

Practice the stand and sit together. Have them watch you for the cue. This can be fun. Don't get out of hand by doing it too much.

Take each song in turn and start some where in the song. You don't have to do the beginning. Perhaps start in the part of the song where they are having the most trouble or you want them to change the dynamic. Work for 2-3 min only on a song. Go through it quickly, stopping every third song or so to check the stand and sit reflex with a quick wiggle song for the little ones.

Use the ears to have them sing louder. Use the mouth to prompt them to smile. Use the Glasses to get their eyes on you.

You can do this so many ways. I plan on really winging it. It should be great. Good luck.


Melissa said...

Melanie, I'm hoping you can help me! I am getting all the time this Sunday which I love and am thankful for. I had planned to do the Primary Music hospital and have been getting things ready, but I'm getting cold feet. My junior primary is tough for that time, it ends up about 50 minutes! Any suggestions? I'm wondering about throwing some good stories in between the songs, they respond really well to stories.... If you get a chance, I'd love your advice! Thanks!

Melanie said...


It is a scary thing to have the entire time...but, it's also really great. I did the "Song Hospital" gig last year. It went so well. My Jr. Primary LOVED it. I made sure to really play up the dr. end of things by dressing the part and having my pianist wear a nurses hat. I had my Jr. Primary kids do a lot of movements with wiggle songs and rewarded them with "the singing measels" if they were singing really well. I also had a clip board where I took notes about what was the difficult parts of the songs...and we worked on those parts for them. So, for Jr. Primary...we ended up singing parts of songs and only the parts of the songs that really needed help. It made it seem less tedious for them, and they did really great. I would really stick to the singing and movement rather than can really accomplish so many things using this wonderful activity. Sr. primary was all over it too.

Good luck--don't be nervous it will be great.


Melissa said...

thanks Melanie, you are right, I really should take advantage of this chance to get a good handle on some songs and what needs more work... I'm off to find doctor clothes today and get measles stickers.
:) Thanks for the encouragement, my jr kids have been getting progressively rowdy and last week I had to have the "How to have fun and still feel the spirit" talk with them... I just don't want to loose them 1/2 way through.

Mary Beth said...

Melanie - I don't always comment but I almost always use you ideas on sundays. Thank you SO much for great ideas and for sharing your talents with everyone.

Scooterdoodah said...

Melanie ~

Do you teach all the verses to both your senior and your junior Primaries? If not, do you just have the Jrs continue to hum while the Srs sing the second verse on a particular song? I know that when I was in the Primary Presy, the Jrs didn't learn everything, but I can't remember what they did. We used to have a chorister for each group, so I know they did a little arranging in that regard because Jrs knew to look for "their" chorister, etc.

I just couldn't manage to get everything learned! I wish I could do a 4th quarter program, then I'd have enough "polish" time!


Monica Hill said...

I really enjoyed our talk this morning. This is an amazing blog my friend.

Colette said...


I am the Primary chorister for our ward. This is my second go-round. Ever since I found your blog site we too have been singing like crazy. Infact, maybe a little too crazy because our Primary President asked me to tone it down. Now who's the crazy one? The kids are loving all the singing and activities. Tone it down? I guess I have to but not by much. I think if I had the full 20min. I wouldn't feel so rushed, maybe that's what makes it crazy(ier). Anyway, I've had a blast! One of the kids in my Primary writes in her journal that singing time is her favorite part of Primary. Yea me - yea you!

Next year, our Stake Primary music person has asked that we only use visual aids (pictures) to teach the songs. It's going to be interesting to say the least.

Thank you for sharing your ideas with all of us Primary choristers. What are we going to do when they release you? "Adjust and Adapt" is my personal philosophy to my everyday life. The show will go on but until then, keep it up and so will I.