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

Monday, June 4, 2012


"The Wise Man 
and the Foolish Man"
song has always seemed like a wiggle type song to me, so when I saw the song in this year's outline, I'll admit I was a bit Surprised and not excited to use it in the Sacrament Meeting Program. And then after reading the small print in the outline, I was relieved that I could choose a song instead, which I did. YEAH!!!

Okay, now here is the kicker that is causing me to rethink things. There is a new blog by Terri Hutchings that her friend Peggy told me about who is sharing her musical adaptation of the song. Words still the same; just put to different music. After listening to it I couldn't believe how changing the music gives the words such a different and more reverent feel. I also love how she has separated the girls from the boys voices to give it a more choral feel. What a beautiful rendition of the song.

Here is a link to her blog if you would like to check out her version of the song.


  1. Thank you for posting this! It is beautiful. I am going to see if I can get approval to use this version. My senior primary rolls their eyes at this song, so maybe the updated version will make them happier.

  2. Nalani, I noticed your comment on the originating blog. Do you know if the music is printable yet? When I hit print, the preview shows blank pages.

  3. For those of you who have emailed/asked, the file to print or download for the song is working now on Terri's blog. Just tried and they have it working now. YEAH!!!! I have been singing this song throughout the day. A pleasant and beautiful song to sing and listen to.

  4. What a great find! Thank you so much! This is such a relief, I have been having the hardest time trying to decide what to do with this song!!! Hopefully I can get it approved!

  5. So beautiful. Thank you for posting the link the Terri's site. I have submitted for approval from the primary presidency. Hoping after they listen to it that I might get to do this one. I am actually looking forward to teaching this song instead of the one that will help make it irreverent. Thanks again for all your wonderful ideas. It sure does help make my job easier.

  6. I'm surprised how many people are opting out of this song deeming it too irreverent when we know the program songs are approved by the leaders of the Church. The message of "The Wise Man and the Foolish Man" is a very important one for the children to know. I don't think doing actions makes it irreverent. Most primaries do actions to other songs such as "Scripture Power." I think actions can be effective as well as fun.

    1. Anonymous—Yes, I full heartily agree that the message in the song is a very important one. I also agree that the kids do enjoy doing actions. In fact, almost every song I teach to the JR kids I use some form of action. They learn the songs better this way. Maybe people have associated this song for so long as a wiggle song that it is hard to view it otherwise. Although we have a little more freedom in the activities we do in Primary than other meetings, we also need to be cognizant that Sacrament Meeting is considered a sacred meeting and activities should be appropriate in accordance with it and that is why so many bishoprics do not approve of actions performed in Sacrament Meeting. In fact, some do not even want sign language performed. I personally think that is going a bit too far since signing is a language and not just some fun hand movements, but it is the bishopric's choice for their ward. I do think the leaders knew there would be some that would have a difficult time using this song in the program, so perhaps that is why they also gave the option to select another song instead. For me, I feel I am able to still teach the gospel principle in the song even though I am using a different melody. I don't view it as throwing one song out for another, in fact, I still plan on continuing to use the regular version of the song—it is a classic, but teaching the new melody will also give a great opportunity for the children to see how music can be used in a variety of ways and how different melodies can elicit different feelings. I think this is a great musical teaching experience for them. I'm also taking this opportunity to challenge them a little with singing parts and learning to sing the same words but to switch their brains from one melody to another. So as you can see, for me, I don't make my decisions lightly just because I may or may not like something. I take a lot of thought and prayer in what I do for our Primary to make sure I'm teaching them the best I can as I'm sure you and so many other music leaders do. Even though all Primaries have different capabilities and needs, as music leaders we all want to do what is best for our Primary children.

  7. Terri's arrangement beautifully captures the meaning of this wonderful folk song -- I, too, hope to use both versions in our Primary!
    I also really love the illustration you have of the sandcastle and the house built upon the rock -- could you tell me where you found it?
    Thanks so much! :)

  8. Thank you for sharing this beautiful song with us! From the time I first read that this was the song choice for July, I planned on having just the Sunbeams sing this song for the program. I thought that it would be more appropriate if just the younger kids sang it. And it would be a great way to showcase these sweet little spirits. But after hearing this song, I am still going to have the sunbeams (and maybe a few more of the younger kids) sing the original version with actions and then have the older kids sing this version immediately after. I think the combination will be powerful.
    Thanks again for all your wonderful ideas!