Adding Depth to the Meaning of the Song

posted in: Uncategorized | 6

There are so many ways to bring interest for the child as they learn a song…

Melody Maps

Rhythm Stick Patterns

Egg Shakers

Body Rhythm Patterns

But what about the meaning of a song?

I have found that mixing in short (very short), concise messages… perhaps only 2 sentences long… in the middle of an activity to learn the song is a way to teach deeper things about the messages and meanings of a song.

As you watch this singing time, notice we move and do patterns. We mix up the intensity and the activity. We are teaching three different songs. At the same time, I am adding in little messages within the song. What are the qualities of a missionary added in with images (the missionaries were great to comply) in between each line of the song. Thoughts about Jesus Christ and His Love for us added in with images in between each line of the song. The story of the Aaronic Priesthood keys being given to Joseph as we sing the song. (I probably wouldn’t do each song like this as in this example!)

Short, Concise little nuggets

Increased understanding through a personal (short) thought expressed

Images to connect to the song, all surrounding one idea

And all of this added onto the movement and activities to teach the song (because in my experience, that is what the children like the best!)

6 Responses

  1. Shaunna George

    Dear Sharla, I cannot thank you enough for sharing your research, experiences, and gifts to teach music to children! I attended a workshop of yours years ago in Utah, and my life is forever changed! Your ideas were a God-send to me as a stake Primary counselor with responsibilities for music. I had the opportunity to teach Singing Time each month in one of the wards in our stake. One of the best compliments I received was from a Valiant 10 boy who said in his closing prayer, “Heavenly Father, thank you for this most fun singing time!” Now that I am released (and missing Primary!), I incorporate your ideas with virtual monthly singing times with my 10 grandchildren via Zoom. For Christmas, I gave each of our married children’s families a “Sunday Singing Time Box” filled with scarves, shakers, and a few other props. This is only our second time, but it is a lot of fun! I appreciate watching you teach–it gives me more confidence. I appreciate your efforts and continually inspiring ideas!!

  2. Kim Martin

    Do you teach the verses or is it more important just to get the music in their heads?

    • Sharla Dance

      If you teach the same verse three or four different ways, it cements it deeply into the brain. Only after that, would I teach a second verse… and I would teach it in different ways than I taught the first verse. It’s just the way the brain like things.Learn the same thing in a couple of different ways (giving different “hooks” to remember), then give me something similar to learn but with different hooks so I don’t get it mixed up. Thank you for asking.

  3. Desiree Olive

    Thank you so much! You inspire every lesson I do, over video for our kids to see as we still aren’t meeting together.

  4. Mary-Rose McMullin

    I really enjoy your enthusiasm and confidence. I would like to get some props for our Primary children to use at home. What kind of ribbon wands do you use? How long are the ribbons? Thanks!!

    • Sharla Dance

      The double sided ribbon (so the edges won’t fray) are about 3 feet long. For shorter children, they can be 2 feet long. I put a grommet in the top to connect three of those ribbons, then hook them on the 12 inch dowel. Thank you for asking. It is one of the children’s favorite props ever!!!! Let me know how if I can send you the pattern. Thanks for asking!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *