Sometimes the children in older Primary are ready to learn a harmony part or companion song. Here is one idea:
Companion Song edited for Choose the Right
I teach this separately from the original hymn, then ask the children if they can sing Choose the Right while I sing the companion song. Challenge them not to pulled off the hymn by what you are singing. It makes them beam with delight when they can do it.
Then, ask the children if they can sing the companion song and not get pulled off while you sing the original hymn. You might want to stop there, and revisit the companion song the next Sunday (it will go deeper into the memory that way). After a few more exposures, split the group with one of the teachers or presidency members leading each group, and have each sing either the hymn or companion song. Now switch and have each group sing the one they didn’t sing the first time.
Sometimes the older children appreciate the song even more when they tackle a harmony part or companion song. It’s a challenge and it can be fun for them!
Yay! I’m excited to check this out! (I just barely left a comment about a partner song on another one of your posts. 😀 )
Do you sing the companion song with a certain verse? I have taught verse 1 and 3 and was planning on having a small group sing the second verse. Would you add in the companion song on the third verse? Thank you for all you do to help me in this calling!
Dear Ariane, This companion song can go with any of the verses. I agree with you that you might want to add it in on the 3rd verse if your Primary is singing all three. Thanks for asking!
Sharla–what do you do with the piano? Would you have her play one or the other or ?both? Thank you so much for sharing your talents!
Dear Cindy, When the children are all singing the companion song, I would have the pianist play the melody of the companion song using the left hand of the hymn. (He or she may have to write it in so that it is on one piece of paper.)
When the children are singing both songs together, I would have the pianist play the chords only on the 1st and 3rd beats from the hymn on the verse (so that a melody played by the piano is not a distraction to those singing the companion song). The pianist can play the written hymn music as they both sing the chorus.
Thanks for asking!
Wonderful, thank you!! looking forward to singing time today!
Sharla, I am fairly new in my calling and I recently bought your book and it is fantastic! Thank you! So, what does one do if they don’t get throught the actvity because of time? Today, I had 10 minutes in Senior Primary. I immediately cut a song, spent a few minutes on a fun song with rhythm, then moved to Choose the Right, 3rd verse playing the eraser game. I only had time to sing the song three times before I needed to close. Clearly, the kids had not time to process the words. Do I use the same game next week? Do I try to teach the same verse a different way? Do I move on to another verse? Thanks!
Dear Sonja, That is the beauty of teaching a song/verse at least 3 to 4 weeks in a row. You can just do another week with another activity. Because the brain craves variety, yet needs repetition, I would do a different activity with the same verse next week UNLESS your children were really disappointed that you had to stop. You can do Crack the Code (first letters of each word), Envelope Game (Major words cut apart and in envelopes that they put in order), Fill in the Blank with words around the walls, or Color Code (a color assigned to a letter. I usually only choose 3 letters) if you want to challenge their word thinking again. You could do a movement to the third verse. I saw a great one yesterday where the leader had us throw our thumbs up to our shoulders (a picture of thumbs), snap ( a picture of snapping the fingers), clap (a picture of clapping), and patsch on our lap (a picture of a lap). We did the pattern as we sang the song, then mixed up the pattern (putting the pictures in a different order) to see if we could do it the next time we sang the song. Often the children were not singing, but struggling to do the pattern while the words were going into the backdoor of their memory because they were engaged and moving to the beat while the words were being sung by the leader.
Thank you! That helps. I have noticed that since I bought your book, the prep time for Sunday has been reduced a lot!
Is there a recording of the companion song? That would really help me out!
Thank you for sharing this music! It is beautiful, simple and powerful! We used this for our primary program. It was such a wonderful addition. It brought the spirit and really helped us all to truly contemplate the message of this familiar hymn in a new way.
Thank you Rachel for your kind words and for letting me know. What a blessing for me that you said something! Thank you again, Sharla