March – If the Savior Stood Beside Me

Ideas to teach If the Savior Stood Beside Me

(click on the link to go to the page explaining the activity)



  1.  Picture Concentration Match Up Game
  2. Silent Video
  3. Scarves: Circles and Up/Down
  4. Waves of the Sea
  5. Egg Shaker patterns


  1. Picture Concentration Match Up Game
  2. Silent Video
  3. Melody Map with Symbols
  4. Waves of the Sea
  5. Egg Shaker patterns

14 Responses

  1. Lynn Slocum

    Hi Sharla! I had a question about handbells. I can purchase kidsplay 1 octave 13 note set or there is a 20 note chormatic handbell set. I don’t know which one would be best since I haven’t used handbells before. Do you have a suggestion of the two? The first one includes the 8 notes plus the black add ons. Thanks!

    • Kristina Chamberlain

      I can tell you I’m so glad I have the full set, that way we can play pretty much any song.

  2. Annie

    Every time I find a new post on your blog it feels like chorister Christmas morning! Thank you for putting all of your expertise and insights up on the inter webs for all of us to benefit. My primary kiddos love these activities, and even the teachers say they enjoy sitting with their classes more since I started using your pedagogy. Most importantly, I constantly have parents telling me that they heard their child singing the songs at home! That is the best evidence that this works: the words and music creep into their minds and hearts and they sing the songs in their own little lives! SUCCESS!

  3. Emily

    Hello Sharla! Thanks so much for sharing what you are learning. It feels good to me and I am very grateful you’ve had the courage to share. What is your process for teaching the children a song? Is it good to always first dissect a song by talking about each phrase and singing it (and having them sing it with you) before you sing the whole song through and have them join you? Is it good to have them do visual activities (like the ones you posted) before doing movement while singing?

    • Sharla Dance

      Huge question! I want to introduce the WHOLE song to the children in a way that they are engaged two or three different Sundays in a row. I want to have each of those activities reach a different part of the child: moving their bodies to the music, connecting to some visual representations of the music in a thought provoking way (put these in order or find the concentration matching picture, etc.), moving and playing some kind of instrument (paper plates, paper cups, rhythm instruments, handbells, or even a body rhythm pattern) to the music. If the child is older, I want them to crack some kind of code or puzzle, also. If the child is younger, I want them to move in yet a different way to the music. Once the child has been engaged in the activity, hearing the song over and over again each Sunday, by about the 4th Sunday, they start to sing with you (some children even before that). When that happens, I emphasize them singing some parts of the song and I sing the other, helping the song to go into their inner ear. I don’t have them learn the song before doing the movement, because the movement is also teaching them LOTS about the song. What is the steady beat? What tempo? How do the rhythm of the words fall into the steady beat? What is the feel of the song? What are the high points of the song? Where does the melody go as I move to the steady beat?
      All those questions are answered just by moving to the song. Once those questions are answered, the words come MUCH more easily.

      Thanks for asking!

      • Marne

        When you say you introduce the WHOLE song, do you mean all the versus as well?

        • Sharla Dance

          Dear Marne, I look at one verse as a whole unit. I mean to let the children hear the whole verse as they are engaged in a challenge with that verse. When you teach more than one verse at at time as a whole, the brain will often confuse parts of the verse with the other verse. I teach one verse completely (a whole) in 3 or 4 different ways, then I move on to the next verse with different activities to teach that particular verse. Thanks for asking!

  4. Kristy Coon

    I just read about ‘Whole to Part to Whole’ in your book. I hadn’t realized that I was to sing the entire song each week. I was under the impression to teach and practice a verse a week. Will you please clarify?

    • Sharla Dance

      Dear Kristy, I consider a verse to be a whole unit. Sing the whole verse, focus in on a part of it, then sing the whole verse. The bigger picture is to sing all the verses together as a whole, but I highly recommend teaching a verse as a whole and the next verse as another whole so they don’t get mixed up in our brain. Thanks for asking!

      • Nancy Wells

        I understand this concept and see the wisdom in teaching one verse at a time. So, my question is, how do you do that and teach all of the verses in time for the program? Do you work on different verses to different program songs all the time? ie. teaching three different program songs (one verse only, of course) per month, since we don’t have three months to teach each song? Also, what do you do for opening and closing songs, welcome songs, etc.? Do you have some activity you do with them or do you only do the activities with songs sung during the actual singing time?

        • Sharla Dance

          I usually will use multiple verses as opportunities for small groups to sing, having the whole group learn at least two of the verses. Yes, we sing them together for opening songs once they are all learned. Because you are not just teaching one song for the whole 15 to 20 minutes, but two or three different songs in 5 to 7 minute bursts, you are teaching multiple songs. You could continue a song for two months to get all the verses their fair share of time and still teach the song of the month.

          I often will do a small activity with a song during opening exercises, but sometimes we just sing it. Thank you for asking such great questions!

  5. Laraine Thompson

    Do you know where I might find the music written for the poem, “Mr. Everything” which was published in June 1997 Friend? I had it at one time, but cannot find it anywhere now. We want to sing it for Father’s Day this year.

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