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

Saturday, September 29, 2012


Where has this month gone?
The days have been spinning by awfully quickly.
There have been several posts I've wanted to do this month, including what I was planning on doing for my program review this year
(which I'll have to post later or maybe next year),
but as you can see, I haven't been able to squeeze out some extra time.
Here is the post I started at the first of the month but life happened
and I haven't been able to get back to it until now. 

With all those POPULAR singing reality-type shows out there these days like American Idol, The X Factor, The Voice, America's Got Talent, etc., you can't help but try and figure out a way to incorporate a similar theme into singing time. I personally haven't watched these but I do hear about them from friends, family and co-workers. Well, with that in mind, here is another way to use the Singing Superstars poster from my last post found here. Sorry again that I'm finally getting around to posting the other use for the poster I promised at the first of the month. Life keeps happening. What can I say?????

Anyway, this is pretty simple to do. I can't say I'm following a particular singing reality show's concept because I really don't know the exact specifics of each show since the bits and pieces of each are just mishmashed info in my little noggin'. This is just my take on the shows and I'm sure many others have done similar singing times like this. BUT, if I had to pick one show from the mishmash of info I know, I guess I would say it is probably closest to The X Factor since I use "X's"  (Ummm, hey there, I don't think they actually use "X's" in the show) and supposedly, the "X" refers to that something eXtra one has that makes them STAR quality. So, yeah, let's go with that.

  • Singing Superstars poster with the songs listed on it & small stars—optional (a printable poster is in the previous post here):
    • Basically, I just use the poster as a meter or score board so they have a visual reminder on how well they are doing as we work on each song. 
  • Print, cut and post on your poster the three pictures that represent the categories that the children are to be judged on (or write the categories on the poster with a wet erase marker.) If I had known when I first made this poster that I would use it for something else, I wouldn't have laminated the first set of category headers onto the poster. I would have made it removable so I could switch out with other headers. This singing time only has three categories as compared to the four from the last post so you will only use three columns:
    • Musicality (note): Sound, volume, clarity on the words, know the words, singing harmoniously together, everyone singing, etc.
    • Physicality (reverent children): Eyes on me, standing or sitting reverently, stand up and sit down together, happy face, etc.
    • Spirituality (Jesus): Are they singing with feeling and the spirit of the song so others can feel the message of the gospel the song has? I like this because I just don't want the children to sing the song like a robot— just spitting out the words. I want them to learn to pay more attention in what they are singing and experience not only the impact they can have on those that are listening to them, but also in how it can make them feel as well. This hopefully also helps them in understanding how important music is in sharing the gospel. This judge could even close his/her eyes while they sing so he/she can FEEL the music better.
    • You may want to print out the above category info for a reference sheet for the judges.
  • Ask three people to be your judges. These can be other members in your ward, the Primary Presidency or teachers. I don't like to use teachers for this one since I want them to help participate since they will be in the program with the children.
    • Make sure you explain to your judges ahead of time what their responsibilities are in judging and mentoring the Primary.
  • Print the three sets of the the stars and "Xs", cut them out, laminate (optional) and adhere to tongue depressor sticks. If you don't feel like cutting them out, just use as a full page. In the file there is also a blank set if you prefer to print out on colored card stock instead and another set without the pictures on them. You could even print sets of the blank ones then cover the shapes with glitter. Now that would give some bling! You could even print and cut out the pictures then adhere them on top of the glittered shapes. Just pick and print your style. 
  1. Have the judges sit up front facing the Primary and give each a set of the star and "X" judging paddles.
  2. Explain to the children what you are doing and what each judge will be judging them on.
    • Each judge will judge in their category whether the children sang the song program perfect or near program perfect depending on your expectations. After singing, the judges will either raise a star or "X" for their category. 
      • A star means that they are star quality in that category.
      • An "X" means that they did not sing program perfect for the judge's category and have not achieved star quality yet.
  3. Put a small star on the poster for each category they earned for that song to track their progress.
  4. Each judge will also act as a mentor for their category.
    • After the judging, have the judges mentor the children for their category by telling them what they did well in and what they need to do to improve.
  5. Practice the song 2 or more times as needed if they did not get all three stars.
  6. When they think they are ready to be judged again, sing the song again for the judges to see if they get all three stars.
  7. Continue the process for each song you are wanting to work on.
  8. This will take 2-3 weeks to get through all the songs depending on how much practice you need.
  9. Have a Grand Prize treat or token for them when they have earned all their stars (optional).
This is pretty easy to do while also giving the children some feedback from others, besides you, on how well they are doing and what they can do to improve in their singing. And besides, children like and seem to do better when they know they are performing for an audience.


Singing Superstars Viz—Nalani

Saturday, September 8, 2012


This is the SR side of the poster from 2011

OH YES!  It is that time of year when we are all frantically taking the last opportunity to get the program songs PROGRAM PERFECT.  I made a "Singing Superstars" poster a few years back that I have used in a few different ways so far (love visuals that I can use in more than one way.) A singing meter of some sort is always nice to use to help gauge how well the children are doing on each song and children like to see their progress.  Here is one way I used this "Singing Superstars" poster.



  • Judging Poster & Stars or other meter visual you want to use
  • Recording device (iPad with video recorder is great because they can also see how well they stand or sit while singing, but a tape recorder or a recording app for your phone or iPad will work fine.)

HOW (You can do this over 2 or more weeks)
  1. Review the song once through to warm them up. Use any visuals if you think they need it to refresh in their minds.
  2. Sing the song again without any visual helps and this time record the children singing the song as if they were in the program.
    • Since I am five rows back in the congregation leading them during the program, they can't hear me sing, so I will only mouth the words just like I do in the program, besides, this really lets you know how well they know the song.
  3. Play the song back for the children.
  4. Let them judge on how well they did.
    • Ask them what they did well on.
    • Ask them what they can improve on.
    • Here are some suggestions on what they can watch for in their judging.
      • Did they know the words?
      • Did they sing clearly?
      • Was their volume good?
      • Did they have good musicality?
      • Where their eyes on me?
      • How did they look when they sang? Reverent? Happy?
      • Did they stand and sit on cue?
      • Did they sing with the right feeling for the song?
      • Could they feel the Spirit in their singing?
  5. Ask them how many stars they think they earned on this song and place on your poster. You could use 1/2 stars too, e.g. 3 1/2 stars earned.
      • Ho-Hum = 1 star
      • Oki-doki = 2 stars
      • Gooder = 3 stars
      • Awesome = 4 stars
  6. If they didn't earn 4 stars, practice the song two or more times as needed until you think they have it down. To keep the boredom of repetition down, you could use fun ways to repeat sing if you are trying to get the words down, but be careful of how you do this since the object of this is to really work with the kids in solidifying the song.
  7. Once you think they are ready, repeat steps 2-5.
  8. Repeat the full process with the next song on your list.
    • Suggestion: List your songs to work on in an alternating fashion with one they know well so they have a quick success then for the next one sing one they don't know as well, then know, then don't know, then know, then don't know, etc. This will help keep things moving with some quicker successes in-between.
  9. If you just want to use this to help gauge how they know each song instead of using it to practice and make improvements, just repeat steps 1-5 once through for each song. 
From scratch
  • I made my poster using a florescent poster board and cutting the title banner with my Cricut Expression using the Hannah Montana font on 12" x 24" black card stock.
  • I also used my Cricut to cut out the stars on holographic paper and cut out a larger shadow in black to go behind the holographic star.
  • I made a junior version on one side and a senior version on the other side of the poster.
  • I then laminated the poster.
  • Optional: you could add four categories above where you would put the stars like I did for the "Ho-hum, Oki-doki" etc. or some other categories or leave it blank. If you laminate the poster before you add the categories, that will allow you to change categories depending on what you want to do.
  • I printed and cut out my song titles and taped to the poster.
  • I used square pieces of clear Velcro, but you could use tape to mount the stars as they earn them.
  • With the poster being laminated, you could use a wet erase marker (will stay on until you wipe off with damp paper towel) to write the songs on instead of printing them out as well as you could draw on the stars.
From the pdf file attached
  • I've attached six different posters: three with the songs listed for JR, SR or  both, in case you have a combined Primary, and three without the songs listed.  You can print the one you want out in poster format.  See the "How to Helps" on the pages bar above to see "Printing in Poster Format."
  • Print as small or big as you want. 
  • Cut out some stars or buy some star stickers or draw in the stars with a wet erase marker.
Another way you can use this poster is to bring it out at the end of every month starting at the first of the year to test them on the month's song they have been learning and/or at the end of each month you can test them on the songs learned so far adding or removing stars depending on how well they are doing. I will post another idea for this poster hopefully by tonight.

Singing Superstar Poster