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

Saturday, February 23, 2013


Did you know. . . 
that the part of the song "I'm glad that I live in this beautiful world..." is sometimes sung by Primaries using the ascending scale as the melody of the song?  I have had several Primary Music Leaders that I know, including family members, say to me how difficult it is to sing that high in the song. They are surprised, but relieved when I tell them that the ascending scale was actually written as an optional higher harmonizing part for additional voices to sing or to simply have the pianist play.

We often think that the top notes in a song are the melody notes, which often times they are; however, what sometimes doesn't get noticed, as in this song, is that the top notes in that part of the song are smaller than the other notes identifying them as cue notes, not the melody notes. The notes beneath the cue notes are the melody notes. 

My songbook I purchased after I was married
when I started teaching in the nursery in 1980.
Still in pretty good condition.

Did you also know. . . 
that although Clara McMaster originally wrote it as it is presented in the current Children's Songbook, with the additional cue notes for the ascending scale part, it was originally published incorrectly with the ascending scale part in the Sing with Me songbook. That is how I first learned the song in my later Primary years only to discover I had to relearn it when I became the Primary Music Leader. I actually started Primary singing songs from the green book, The Children Sing (at least I think it was green if my memory serves me right) for more than half of my Primary years until Sing with Me  came out in 1969. Okay, I digress.

Check out the incorrect ascending scale starting towards the
end of the 4th treble staff. The top notes were not represented
as cue notes as Clara McMaster had written them.

As a side note in reference to my last statement above about learning the song wrong, I learned a valuable lesson the first week I was called as the Primary Music Leader when I attended a double stake training meeting. I was fortunate that Pat Graham was the keynote speaker. If you have ever attended one of her workshops, she will ask you to sing "Give," Said the Little Stream", specifically the part "I'm small, I know, but wherever I go the ________ grow greener still."  Sing it and then go and check it out in the songbook to see if you sang the correct word that goes in the blank. You may be surprised. I was. In fact, the correct word has always been the same word. The lesson I learned was that sometimes we learn a song and then we may teach it to others without questioning whether we learned it correctly or not and it just keeps getting passed on down that way. So I've learned to always look in my songbook and verify if I know the words and the melody correctly before I teach the children. 

Just thought I would share that tidbit of info with you that I learned. You can find wonderful stories like I have in Pat Graham's book"We Shall Make Music". It has wonderful stories of the Primary songs and their composers that Pat has compiled. One more thing. If you listen to the MP3 of this song on, you will find that they sing that part of the song in the first verse per the melody and the second verse per the higher, optional harmony ascending scale version.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome information! Thank you so much. I don't know much about music but I do love to sing. However my range is not quite high enough for this song, or so I thought. I was planning on teaching the kids the lower notes anyway, just to I could stay with them. At least now I know I will be doing it right.