Here is the link for the 2020 songs for Primary music.
Notice that there are 3 songs listed each month. What could seem overwhelming turns into manageable with these few principles.
- The best way to learn something is with flow and contrast. Introduce a high concentration activity (can you figure out this puzzle, this code, this movement pattern, etc.), follow it with a change of pace, and then introduce a medium concentration activity. In a Primary setting, choose one song that is full of beat and high energy, and two that are of lower energy. Choose one activity that is moving to the beat or rhythm, one activity that is figuring out which picture comes first, second, third in the song, and one activity that is action word movements to certain words.
- The best way to reach is child is to choose activities that appeal to different learning modalities. Some children need to move to a steady beat to learn, some children need to solve puzzles to challenge them, and some children need to act out words to learn. Some children need to interact with pictures (put them in order or put together a simple puzzle to see the picture), some children need to see a melody map to sense when the melody goes up or down, and some children need to sing silently in their head for a phrase and then out loud for a phrase to learn. Choose activities that vary and give contrast every Sunday.
- The best way to utilize a children’s attention span (based on brain research) is to change activities every 5 to 7 minutes. In a Primary setting, it works wonderfully to choose your contrasting songs (contrasting moods and tempos) that you will concentrate on 5 minutes each, then choose varied activities that appeal to different learning types (movement, music maps or rhythm bands, codes, picture puzzles, etc. See ideas on this blog listed under the different songs.) Change the song and the activity every 5 to 7 minutes.
Teach 3 songs every Sunday.
Use 3 different activities every Sunday.
Because some of the songs are well known, you may think you don’t have to “teach” them. Let’s change perspective a little and realize that we are giving children different experiences with time honored songs. They may already know them, but the activity you present and they experience will give them a deeper understanding of a unique aspect of that particular song.
Keeping those contrasting songs in mind, here is my teaching schedule for the first eight weeks of 2020. Yours will be different as you plan what is best for you as the teacher, and your individual children.
Dec. 30 – 1. Book of Mormon Stories, 2. Keep the Commandments, 3. Verse 1 of Nephi’s Courage.
January 6 – 1. Book of Mormon Stories (review), 2. Keep the Commandments, 3. Verse 1 of Nephi’s Courage and 4. Silent Video intro for He Sent His Son.
January 13 – 1. He Sent His Son, 2. The Iron Rod, 3. Chorus of Search, Ponder, and Pray. Use Keep the Commandments as an opening song for Review. Use Verse 1 of Nephi’s Courage as a “wiggle song” or a song as the children are coming in.
January 20 – 1. Verse 1 of Search, Ponder and Pray, 2. The Iron Rod, 3. He Sent His Son, 4. Intro only to Verse 2 of Nephi’s Courage if time
January 27th – 1. The Iron Rod, 2. Verse 2 of Nephi’s Courage, Silent Video intro to I Feel My Savior’s Love, 3. *Choose the Right Way (*The teachers are being asked to sing this song in their classroom on week 7 and 10. It is a great contrast song so I included activities to experience it and become more familiar with it.)
February 3 – 1. Verse 2 of Nephi’s Courage (review), 2. Choose the Right Way, 3. I Feel My Savior’s Love, and 4. Intro into I Love to See the Temple
February 10 – 1. Choose the Right Way (review), Verse 2 of Nephi’s Courage as the children are coming in, 2. I Feel My Savior’s Love, 3. I Love to See the Temple, 4. intro to Faith
February 17 – 1. Faith, 2. I Love to See the Temple, 3. *I’ll Walk With You (*The teachers are being asked to sing this song in their classroom on week 10 and 22. I included activities to experience it and become more familiar with it.) 4. Nephi’s Courage, both verses (review – maybe as the children are coming in or as contrast song).
Lynn Allen Slocum
When you list “intro” each week as in Jan. 13 Intro only to Verse 2 of nephi’s Courage if time and Feb. 3 Intro into I love to see the temple, what do you mean? I see the intro is a 4th song so I am assuming you are spending only a minute or two but can you explain what you plan as an intro? Thanks!
I assume that she means doing a short activity where she would be able to sing the song through as an introduction. Perhaps through a silent video, story song, or something similar…?
Great question, Lynn. On January 13 “use Keep the Commandments as an opening song…” – Because we have already done two activities with the song (which is a shorter, easily learned song), we just sing the song with me directing before starting our activities for the day.
On January 20 and February 3 – intro only refers to a shortened activity, perhaps directed listening or a simple movement to the beat, so that the children have an opportunity to hear the whole song, laying down a map in their head of beat, the feel, the rhythm, and where the words fit in all of that. They will have opportunities to fill in the details in a future activity. Thanks for asking.
Where do you get, or how do you put together, your silent videos?
I use a 2 minute cut from one of the church videos on the Savior’s life, or the Book of Mormon videos, or another topic that relates to the song we are learning. The purpose is to help the children put some visual images to the song that will evoke the emotions appropriate for that song, not necessarily to learn the words. Sometimes those feelings are more important than knowing all the words perfectly. Thank you for asking!
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
I would like more details on what a silent video is. Can you explain it a little more?
I choose a clip (about 2 minutes) from one of the church videos, usually about the life of Christ, or this year, the Book of Mormon videos. I turn off the sound. Then, as I show the video, I sing the song pointing to the video screen at different points in the video. The purpose is to deepen the children’s understanding of the song with visual images that usually carry emotions, also.
I bought a teaching primary music a few weeks ago and cannot find it. Help?
Do you mean the book or the video?
Hi Sharla! I attended the Bellevue workshop last weekend and I’ve been trying to find your email address to ask for the songs you wrote. Can I get the songs you created? THANK YOU!!!
Dear Lauren, I will not only send that to you, but I will also try to put a nursery post up on this blog with those songs. Thank you for asking.
Elaine B Billings
Thank you for all your help.
Hi Sharla!this is Christine Nelson. I am so grateful for you! I’ve been using your material for a few years now and love all of it! It truly works!
I’m in your system under an old email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
My current email is: chrispie@ strata net.com
Can you let me know that you have been able to correct this I do so I don’t miss out??
What does it mean to swirl with a paper plate that is referred to when using paper plates and singing?
Dear MelAnie, Which song did you see the swirl reference in? I’m smiling trying to think what I meant. I usually sing the song and see what motion goes best with the rhythm and feel, so I must have felt like some kind of circling motion went well with that song.? thanks for asking!!!