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

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Who doesn't like to hear a story? What child is not fascinated by the magic of storytelling? Throw music into the mix and you have a winning combination. I like to do a sing-a-story once in a great while as a special treat to introduce a song or to emphasize a particular story, topic or theme especially when you want to set a special mood. Although this is a simple concept, it does take some preparation in writing up a short narration and organizing the songs, but it can be so worth it.  I have done a few of these in various ways; short 5 minute singing skits up to full singing and sharing time combos and they have always been those Sundays you go home knowing you really caught the children's attention, they listened and gleaned gospel principles that were taught and most importantly, you know they felt the spirit testifying to them.
TIP: Preparation is important so that all flows as smoothly as possible with minimum disruption.
The main premise in a sing-a-story is to use the songs and music in telling the story as much as possible by arranging them in a sequence to be sung that lets the story unfold adding brief narrations when needed between the songs to help in the continuity of the story. Once you have determined your topic, you can look in the topical index in the Children's Songbook or Hymnal to help you select the appropriate songs to fit your story. To help keep the flow from narration to singing, it is a good idea to work with your pianist and give her/him a copy of the script so the pianist can quietly start the intro in the song as the narrative portion is finishing up so that you can go right into the song, although, this is not always possible to do with some presentations, it is a nice feature. It really depends on how you are presenting it. Sometimes it is also nice to have the piano playing softly in the background during special parts of the narration.
Here are some ways I've presented a Sing-A-Story and some how to's:

  • Make a book with pictures in it that coordinates with the story you are telling to be used as a "storybook".
  • Display pictures around the room having the children find the picture you are telling about.
  • Use the scriptures as the narrative script and in helping to introduce each part of the story and song.
  • Write a simple script.
  • Have children act out short parts using simple costumes during the narration.
  • You read the narratives or have an adult or let the children read the parts.
  • In introducing a song, break the song up into parts and use the song as the script singing each section using another person to bounce the "conversation" against by him/her speaking or asking questions that leads into your singing part. There are songs in the songbook that work very nicely with this method.
This is a successful way to really emphasize a special topic and one the kids will love.  

P.S. Although I will be posting my Easter Sing-A-Story next, I hope to be able to post other sing-a-story examples now and again.

P.S.S. It's late and I ended up working late at work today, so I didn't quite get my Easter Singing Lesson done in time to post tonight. I'm almost done, so I guess it will be Friday after work before I can finish it up and post it. So, check back later if you are interested. 

1 comment:

  1. I get the concept now of Sing-a-story. Thanks for your help. Just so you know I check your blog every week to help me get great ideas for singing time. Many, many thanks.