New and refurbished ideas for LDS Primary Music Leaders (a.k.a. Primary Choristers)

Saturday, April 7, 2012


Click here for a "Book Cover" for your storybook

On Sunday I was initially planning on introducing this month's song that I had been preparing, and which, by-the-way, I will be teaching the song "If the Savior Stood Beside Me", so stay tuned if you are interested; however, I just kept getting this nagging feeling prompting about doing something a little more special with it being Easter Sunday  and that focused more on Christ's life. So earlier this week I put the brakes on my original plans and started thinking of what to do and then I remembered something in last year's issue of the Friend magazine that focused on the last days of Christ's life before his Crucifixion and Resurrection. After pulling out the magazine and re-reading it, I knew that is what I needed to do.  Click here for the April 2011 issue. I know I've said this before, but probably can't say it enough, but the Friend magazine is a wonderful resource of information that can be tweaked into some wonderful singing lessons.

Click here for the PDF version

Click here for the PDF version

For JR I plan on posting one picture for each day around the room (or you could post on the chalkboard) and doing an "I Spy" kind of thing. This will not be a formal narration type sing-a-story for the JR. I have quite a lot of very young children in the JR Primary.  For the narration, I will basically follow the short stories found in last year's Friend magazine (see link above.)
  1. I'll first explain to them about this being a special day about our Savior, Jesus Christ and that we will discover some wonderful things that Jesus did during His last week of His life before He was crucified and then resurrected.
  2. I will ask them to fold their arms when they figure out which picture I am talking about so that I know they know which picture it is, but they will have to listen really, really well in order to hear the clue.
  3. I'll begin by saying something like, "I spy with my little eye the day Jesus walked to a place called Bethany. Do you see the picture that looks like Jesus is walking to a town called Bethany?"
  4. Select a child to retrieve the picture and have that child hold the picture while you continue telling about the day.
  5. I plan to have other pictures that go with the narratives in a binder, like a storybook, that I will use as I tell each day's story. I think this will help to keep the children's focus. If it is helpful, you could also write out the narrative and place in the binder in order with the pictures so you can read it to the children like a storybook. It is best to do more telling than reading though and make sure you inflect with your voice and facial features to help express the mood or feelings of what is being told, but yes, having the words there can be helpful for those times your brain decides to take a nap during your thought process and you end up with a blank look on your face.
  6. I will also have any flip charts I plan to use in the binder between the pictures in the order they will be sung just to help things flow more smoothly so I won't have to switch out between pictures and flip charts. Some of my song visuals will be my small and large posters that I will have posted ahead of time on the board or an easel. The visuals are mainly to help the teachers and the few older children that can read especially since some of these songs we haven't sung in quite some time, that way I won't end up singing solo on some of the songs. In fact, one of the songs we will be singing is not one we have ever sung before, but I know the little ones will enjoy listening to it.
  7. I will continue telling them that, "In Bethany Jesus found a man named Lazarus who had been dead and Jesus brought Lazarus back to life from the dead (picture of Lazarus being raised from the dead in the binder.) Jesus stayed in Bethany for five nights with His friends, Lazarus, Mary and Martha (picture of Mary and Martha.)  Mary showed her love for Jesus by putting oil on His tired feet and wiping His feet with her hair. Jesus showed love for His friends and Mary showed love to Jesus by putting oil on His feet. We should love one another just like Jesus did." Keep it short. In fact, my little example blurb might be just a tad too long.
  8. Sing "Love One Another" doing the sign language.
  9. Continue to the next day with, "I spy with my little eye Jesus riding into the city of Jerusalem on a donkey." Have a child retrieve the picture, finish the narration of that part of the story showing additional pictures in the binder if you have them and sing the corresponding song.  Continue the process for each day. You probably won't have enough time to sing a song for each day, so select the songs that you feel will get the message you want across to the children.
  10. At the end I will make a comment similar to the Easter Sunday paragraph in the magazine and bear my testimony of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer.
  11. Closing song if time permits.

For SR I plan on being more formal in the presentation of the sing-a-story since they are older and their attention span can be held a little longer. In fact, I was speaking yesterday with the counselor who is doing Sharing Time this week and the funny thing is . . . she was looking at the same article in the Friend magazine from last year and also felt impressed to present those last days of Jesus' life with the SR Primary. So, naturally we decided to combine our efforts. For SR, this will hopefully allow us to sing a song for each day and expand a little more using the scriptures. I'm excited and know it will be a wonderful experience for the older Primary children, as well as myself. 
  1. We will have one of the male teachers be the narrator who will read in turn each short story for the day found in the Friend magazine
  2. A pre-assgined child will read the scripture or part of the scripture that correlates with that day.
  3. We will then sing the song.
  4. We will continue on repeating this process for each day.
  5. If there is time at the end, we will have a few children share their thoughts and feelings about our Savior.
  6. For closing remarks, a teacher has been asked to share her testimony.
  7. A closing song.
For a regular 20 minute Singing Time, if you don't combine with Sharing Time, don't do the scriptures or the children sharing or the teacher's testimony parts, except still share your testimony; those are more sharing time activities anyway. And like JR, you may not be able to sing each song for each day.
  • Here is a key sheet of the songs we will be singing. Select songs that best fits your Primary. 
  • The pictures I used are from the old Gospel Art Kit and the Gospel Art Book. You should be able to find these in your church's library if you don't have them in your personal file. You can also access many of them in the LDS image library online (click on the "Resources" page tab above and then click on the LDS Media Library link to go directly there.) Can I just say how excited I am that they have started putting together this wonderful resource. This will certainly make my life easier in finding church appropriate visuals to use. I've even noticed they have started including some pictures from church magazines. As they expand that, maybe I won't have to take so much time searching through past issues for pictures. YEAH!
  • Here is a link to a file I put together of the pictures I will be using from the Gospel Art kit and book in case you are unable to find some picture and need to print some of them.
  • There wasn't a picture for when Jesus was teaching on the Mount of Olives, I chose to use the picture of the "Sermon on the Mount" to help depict Jesus teaching on the Mount of Olives. 
You could also download the pictures and display them on an iPad or laptop instead of in a binder format.

Have a very special Easter Sunday!


  1. I love this idea!! I was going to do something different too but you inspired me to change it. The list of songs you chose isn't working. Could you email it to me? Thanks!!

  2. oh could you also email the list of pictures to the above email? thank you

  3. Try the links again. I moved the file and had to relink it for the song key sheet, so you may have tried while I was doing it. I have now added the picture file. You will have to be a subscriber to Scribd though to access the pictures, but it is free. The picture file is rather large and most email providers won't accept large attachments, so emailing it probably won't work. The song key sheet lists the names of the pictures.

  4. Thank you!! You are amazing. I love your ideas. I could feel the spirit as I read this post/idea. I'm excited for tomorrow!

  5. I too, felt impressed to change my plan to a special Easter sunday! Thanks for keeping my life simple and doing the brunt of the work:)

  6. you inspired me to change my ideas.Love those ideas.sell my house

  7. This is so wonderful! Thanks for posting this. I will definitely be using this idea.

  8. I'm so thrilled with this~~you put in so much work and now our Primary in Wichita will be blessed with this gorgeous lesson. Thank you for sharing, and I can't wait for tomorrow. Happy Easter!

  9. Thank you for sharing the PDF. I have misplaced my copy and I decided that surely somebody would have put it on Pinterest! Thank you!