Saturday, October 31, 2015

Flip Charts

Good ole Flip charts.
What would I do without them? Probably sing a solo with the wrong words.
 Some people love them and others don't even use them. But I do, but not all the time. I have my limits.
I place my flip charts in a binder in plastic sheet protectors. I know some like to flip them over the music stand. But I just hold the binder and flip away. Each week I change and update the flip charts I will need for the following Sunday. Sometimes it's just one or none. I like to use the same opening and closing song for the month. That way they get a chance to sing it several times. I'll start the month off with a flip chart and by week 3 & 4 we won't need it.

Here's how I use them.
1. ONCE-IN-AWHILE SONGS: I'm getting older and sometimes have a hard time remembering all the words to the songs. I even get the verses mixed up. I hardly ever use my songbook. So a flip chart comes in handy. I use them for songs we  haven't sung in awhile. I know my teachers appreciate the words because they are like me and mix up the words. Sometimes if I don't have a flip chart for those 'once-in-awhile song', I'm the only one singing. So I use them for the teachers, myself, and my kiddos that can read. It's generally the opening or closing song or a special one requested by the Presidency for Sharing time.

2. TEACHING A NEW SONG: Sometimes when I'm teaching a new song, I will use a flip chart. However, I won't put it in the binder. I'll place the cards on the board as we learn each phrase. Then take them down as we memorize it.

I also have guidelines (my own OCD thing) as to what makes a GOOD flip chart.

1. The print needs to be BIG and DARK. Preferably black ink. Sometimes I will put a special word in a different color to emphasize it but be careful that only a few important words are different. Otherwise, the chart gets to hard to read. And stay with the same color. Don't make it too colorful either.

2. The font needs to be easy to read- nothing fancy. Some kids can't read cursive so my flip charts are never in cursive. 

3. There needs to be just the right amount of words on a page- not too few and not too many. I hate to be turning the pages every 2-3 words. And I hate to have so many words on the chart that I lose my place. This is hard when you're creating a flip chart- getting the right amount. I like to do a phrase or sentence per page but sometimes they are too long or too short. Just do what feels natural.

4. I like a picture that goes with the words. Some kids are visual learners and when they see the picture they will remember the phrase. It also helps my Jr. Primary who are mostly non-readers. They see the pictures and the teachers and readers have the words. I try to use pictures from the church's website They have a ton and it's easy to search and find what you need.

Well, there you have it- flip charts 101 by me.
 Disclaimer: However you use or don't use flip charts is up to you. You need to do what fits your style of being the chorister. I'm only sharing what works for me.

If you are into flip charts, I will have some posted on here from time to time. I want to make them easy to find. In the sidebar at the right of a post under LABELS, look for SONG:  then the name of the song after it. If there is an FC after the name, you will know that there is a flip chart to download.

Here's one to get you started.
Click HERE for a flip chart for 'The Chapel Doors'

Family Stick Puppets

What Primary child doesn't know the song: 'A Happy Family'? It's taught at home as well as in Nursery. I remember singing it as a lullaby when my kids were little.
Here is a really cute set of stick puppets. There are LOTS of uses for them. I use them in Jr. Primary and Nursery when we sing A Happy Family. I have also used them with other songs about the family. I've even used them when telling a story in a lesson.
If you'd like the file, just click HERE for a download.

I have another post with MORE family stick puppets HERE.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Thankful Pictures

There is a great Facebook group for LDS Choristers. There are tons of ideas on there. I have posted on there before. So if you've seen my stuff on there then this will be a repeat. I'm going to post one here. It's my Thankful pictures. With Thanksgiving coming up these could be used for lots of things.
One way I use them is in the Nursery with the song: Family Prayer. I pick several pictures that the kids can relate to and put the pictures face down in the middle of our circle. We hold hands and walk in a circle as we sing. Then we kneel down. Next I pick 3-4 children to take turns picking a picture card. They turn it over and talk about why we are thankful for it. You could also do this with the Jr. Primary, just pick 6-7 children at a time to come up to the circle.

Another way is with the Sr. Primary but it could work with Jr. too. I pick several of the pictures and pick a Primary song to go with it. Then have a child pick a picture and play a form of 'Name That Tune' to try and guess the song. Then sing it and talk about why we are thankful for it.

If you'd like to download the pictures click HERE.
I've also included some of the songs I chose to go with some of the pictures.
Enjoy and happy singing!

3 Wiggle Songs

Another one of my all-time favorite callings is NURSERY!
I absolutely love spending time with the 'wee-little-ones'. They just can't help but make you smile!
And of course, the music portion of Nursery, I LOVE!
So along the way in this blog, you'll find helps for Nursery music too because I know many choristers go into Nursery and do the music.

One of my favorite song activities is singing: Rain Is Falling All Around.
I bring in a small spray bottle filled with water. Before we start to sing, I spray a few times above the kiddos heads and we talk about what rain feels like and how important it is in our lives. We also discuss who gives us the rain. Then I give every child 4-5 raindrops. As we sing the song, we gently drop our raindrops on the ground. And believe it or not their favorite part is running around picking up the raindrops. Then we do it all again.

Because they loved it so much, I made snowflakes and colored leaves to sing at other times of the year.
 With the snowflakes we sing: Falling Snow. And for the leaves we sing: It's Autumntime. 
All the songs are in the Children's Songbook.

If you'd like a copy of my leaves, raindrops, and snowflakes you can click HERE.

Happy Singing!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Chorister Toolbag

If you're a newbie to being a chorister, you'll want to take some time to get your 'Chorister's Toolbag' put together. It's kind of like your GO-TO-BAG that you always have with you. It comes in handy on those Sundays when things aren't running as smoothly as you'd like. Kids get bored easily and you need something you can grab quickly to 'jazz' it up.

Here's what I always have in my bag ready for when I need some extra help.

Here's my list.
If you'd like to make a toolbag, I'm sharing some of my signs.
Click HERE for a download.

I hope this helps you stay ahead of the game in your Primary!
I'd love to here from you and what you have in your bag.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Love for Primary, Music and the Gospel

Let me introduce myself.
I am Sheree Peterson. I have lived in beautiful Lehi, Utah all my life. I am a member of 
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Sometimes called 'The Mormons'. 
The front of the Salt Lake Temple, with a partial view of the reflecting pond in front.
If you don't know much about the Mormons you can find out more HERE.
In our church we have an organization that teaches the gospel to the children called the Primary. 

When I was 14 years old I was asked to play the piano in Primary each week so the children could learn the gospel through singing. It was my first calling in the church and one I have loved. Over the years of my life, I've had other opportunities to serve in lots of different positions but being in the Primary with the children has always been my favorite. 

Currently, I am the chorister in my ward. It's been a great calling for me and is filling a void in my life. I just retired from teaching first grade. After 38 years of being with children almost every day, I didn't know what I was going to do. Thankfully, the Lord knew I would need to teach to be happy. So He called me to teach the gospel through music each week in Primary. 

Next to children and my family, music is my love. I love to sing and play the piano. Although, I am not that good at either, I still try my best. That's why I love children because they don't care how bad I sound as long as it's fun.

And there is one more thing I love as much as children, family, and music. Now that would be this wonderful gospel. I love my Savior and Heavenly Father and enjoy learning about them. The words to a Primary song come to mind: 
"I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
I know who I am, I know God's plan.
I'll follow Him in Faith.
I believe in the Savior Jesus Christ.
I'll honor His name. I'll do what is right.
I'll follow the light.
His truth I will proclaim.

I'm not that good at putting my feeling into words but I can always find a song that can say it for me. That's what I love about music- it can express how I feel. I love to sing my testimony and I love helping children do the same.

I'm starting this blog to share some of my ideas and ideas I have found that will/have made my calling easier. I love to create things on my computer so I will try and have the ideas made and ready to go. So many times I find a great idea but then spend hours making and getting it ready. So if you're a LDS PRIMARY CHORISTER I hope you will find this blog helpful. 
I LOVE feedback and comments. We learn together.

I know this has been a loooong post. I promise the following posts will not be this wordy.