Hymns are usually bigger songs. Compared to children’s songs, they have more words. They have more harmonies with each chord. They have more complex subjects, and usually combine many gospel concepts all in one song.
Tips to teach Hymns to Children
- Divide and conquer. The principle Line Upon Line comes into play for complex songs like hymns. Divide a hymn into two parts. Sometimes that is a verse and a chorus. Sometimes that is a natural change in what the hymn sounds like (for instance in this hymn “He lives my everliving Head” would be a natural division point).
- Choose the important concept to teach. You will water down the effect of the hymn if you try to teach all of the many truths and great concepts in a hymn. Choose just one emphasis for the part of the hymn you are going to teach.
- Give the children more “hooks” and different experiences with a hymn than you normally would a smaller song.
Ideas to teach this particular hymn
- Paper plate pattern
- Word find poster
- Holding Scarves and doing actions word actions
- Shaker pattern
- Pool noodle/sandblock pattern
- Hand bells
- Eraser Pass (older children)
- Story Song
- Silent Video
I’ve divided this song into two parts, the first half ending on the word Head. The concept I’ve chosen to testify of in the first part is “plead for me above.” He is my advocate. He stands up for me. He sees the good in me. If there is another time to testify, the truth I have chosen is Jesus is really alive.
The one word I have chosen to define in only one sentence is Head. He is the one who is in charge, my leader, the one who knows way more than me, and He is the one I follow.
I look forward to your ideas on engaging the children in singing. Thank you!
Thank you for your ideas for engaging the children in learning through music.
Could you do a short demo on each of your suggested ideas to teach a song? e.g. eraser pass? Story song? Pool noodles/ sandblock?? I see you list these ideas, but I’m not quite sure what they mean… Thank you
Hi Patty, If you search on story song on the blog, you will get a couple of examples of telling three or four lines of a story, then singing one line of the song (that relates to the story). In the zoom youtube that Camille Mangelson put up on the two Facebook pages is an example of the pool noodle rhythm for this song. Eraser pass is also explained in other posts on this blog if you search the phrase “eraser pass.” I will try to get some posts up to explain those, also! Thanks for asking!