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

Friday, July 6, 2012


I like to use different aids to help direct the children in WHO will be singing and/or HOW we will be singing. I call these my Directional Singing Aids. Of course, with birds known for their singing and my last name being BIRD, I would be amiss if I didn't have some directional singing aid that wasn't bird related. So, one such aid I have created is my Directional Singing Birds. I have different bird signs that either show WHO can sing as well as HOW we should "sing".  

These are fun & easy to use whenever you need to help teach the melody of the song or sing a song over and over and over again. I've made two sizes that I use in different ways and have included the files below, but the smaller size might just be fine if you have a smaller Primary and only want to do one size.

The full, paper-sized sheets are laminated and then each mounted on a paint stirring stick. You could mount each individually on a stick or if you want, do two per stick, back-to-back keeping the "Who" birds grouped together and the "How" birds grouped together. That is what I did, but with the "Sing" and the "Hum" on their own sticks since I didn't have another one to group with each of those and besides, if I come up with another "Who" or "How" bird, I can add it to the back of those; but you could even put the hum and sing together on one stick. You may want to separate the girls and boys signs in case you want to hold up both for both to sing or you could just hold up the sing for both boys and girls. Instead of laminating, you could just put them in sheet protectors and hold them up. You only need to print one set of these larger birds

I will switch between two or more birds while we sing only using the WHO and other times only using the HOW. But then sometimes I may hold up a WHO and a HOW at the same time and switch them out while they are singing to make it a little trickier. This is a little easier to do if you only use one in each hand. It can be a little more trickier if you try to switch between several. To use more birds, an easier way is with the smaller size and posting them on the board as I'll explain below.

For the smaller size (2-per page file), print one or two sets of the birds except the Sing Bird. Print several of the Sing Birds so you have more opportunities to sing all together and maybe even a couple of extra of the "girls" and "boys" cards.  Cut around each leaving about a 1/4" border, laminate them and then adhere magnetic tape on the back side at the top and bottom. 

To use, post the flip chart to the song you will be teaching/reviewing (I use my magnetic page protectors on the board. See here for the post on how I make my magnetic page protectors for flip charts.) Have some children each pick a bird card that you have face down and fanned out like cards in your hands or in a stack on the table or displayed on the chalkboard rail. Then have each child place the one they picked under one of the flip chart pages and then sing the phrase, phrases, verse or the whole song in the order of the "Birds." After singing it through, continue to repeat the process until the time is up for that activity. 
Example of using just "WHO" sings birds
Example of using a mix of "WHO" & "HOW" birds.
You could also remove all the "Sing" birds from the draw pile keeping them separate and then only have a few children, depending on how many flip chart pages you have up, each pick a card and put up on the board under any flip chart page and then you fill in the rest with the "Sing" bird cards.

Another way to use these are like flash cards. Hold the "shuffled" stack in your hands face out to the children with the "Sing" card first, start singing and as you sing the song, every now and then, move the front card to the back and the next card up is who or how they will continue to sing the song. This keeps it fun and they have to concentrate a little since they don't know what will come up next and if they are "Ahhhhhing" and then a "Sing" card comes up, they will need to pick up singing the words from that point on. 

I will be using some of the birds in helping the children learn the new melody I will be teaching for the song
"The Wise Man and the Foolish Man". 
I will be posting my ideas for that song next if you are interested.

Have fun singing like birds!!!

Bird Directional Singing Signs-Large-Nalani
Bird Directional Singing Signs-2-Per Pg-Nalani


  1. Oh heavens ... thank you for this!! I'm a new music leader and i don't have a crafty idea bone in my entire body!! Thank you thank you!!

  2. This is really helpful.. thanks.

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