Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Look what came in the mail the other day!
I bought the 13 Note Chromatic set from Amazon.com

Click on the picture above for a direct link to Amazon.com

My grandkids and I have had a blast playing with them.

I'm using them for the Primary to sing in Sacrament Meeting. We are doing the song: Christmas Bells. Because this is their first time using bells I decided to do chords with the bells instead of the melody. It's much easier. Plus, my Primary already knows this song well.
If you look at the song in the Children's Song book there are chord markings.
In this song there are only 3 different chords: G, D7, C. They are played 11 times during the song.
Next I looked up the notes that are in those 3 chords. I found I had 8 different notes:
A, B, middle C, D, E, F#, G, treble C.
Here is a handy chart for finding the notes in chords. There is also one in the Children's Songbook.
Click HERE for a download.
If this is confusing, just ask your pianist for help. He/She should know how to find the notes in a chord.
Next, I made a chart with the words and chords.
Click HERE for a download of the note labels I used on the chart.
I printed a sheet of each and placed in a file for future use with other songs.
Click HERE for the words to the song.
I underlined the words in the song when the bells are rung so the kids would know when to play. 
We got permission from the Bishop to do this but he was a little worried about reverence because I'm having my 10 & 11 year old boys do it. My older girls are going to be singing the descant. So we had a very nice discussion about reverence in Sacrament meeting, the proper way to play the instrument, a little history about the instrument, and how the Mormon Tab. Choir uses them. I am also hand picking my 8 boys that will be playing the bells.

Last Sunday, I introduced the bells to my Sr. Primary. As we practiced the song and descant, I rotated the bells so every child got a chance to play them. They LOVED it and were very well behaved. It was simple, fun, and sounded great!

Saturday, November 14, 2015


"Nursery-age Children are ready and eager to learn about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and music can help them learn."
From the Nursery Manuel BEHOLD YOUR LITTLE ONES

Nursery is near and dear to my heart! I love doing music with them.
Here's how I put my Nursery music time together:

1. I chose 36 songs from the Children's Songbook that I thought the children needed to know and could handle at their age. I made a song card for each. 
Each Sunday I choose 8-10 songs. I try to have at least one for each child in Nursery so everyone gets a turn picking a song.

2. Whenever I sing with the Nursery kids, I like them to either be holding something (a prop) or doing an action to keep them engaged. 
I collected the props and placed them in various sized baggies with labels to identify them. I also printed the words to the songs so I had a little reminder if I needed it.
3. I place them in a large container that would fit in the Nursery closet. If you don't have a closet you can just keep it at home and place what you'll need in a bag each Sunday.
4. When it's time to sing, I place the song cards I've chosen on the board. Then the kids take turns picking a song. I hand out the props or show them the actions and we sing the song several times. Then we continue until everyone has had a turn picking a song. It's a great way to teach 'taking turns'.

5. When I introduce a new song, I sing it first and then have them sing with me. Most of the kids will give it a try but sometimes it takes a few weeks for them to start singing with me. Just keep singing even if you're singing a solo. Believe me they are getting it and will soon be singing with you.

If you would like a copy of my song cards and all I've talked about in this post, click HERE.
I have other posts on this blog for Nursery. Just check out LABELS on the sidebar under Nursery for them.

Happy Singing!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


It can be expensive. It can be frustrating. It can be worth it.
I've taught 1st and 2nd grade for many, many years and sometimes
I feel like the laminating QUEEN!
It can get pricey if you think you have to laminate everything. It's frustrating if you've spent hours coloring & cutting a project and it gets stuck in the laminator or overlaps. But it can keep your projects protected for years to come and save you hours of prep time.

So when it is worth it to laminate a project?
My rule of thumb is: 
  • If the kids are going to be handling it- LAMINATE IT (Like cards or pictures)
  • If it's something you want to keep and re-use a lot- LAMINATE IT (like game boards)
  • If it's a poster or chart to be places on the board or wall- DON'T (like monthly theme charts or scripture posters)
  • If it's a flip chart- DON'T (plastic sheet protectors are better, reusable, and cheaper)
I would also shop around for the best prices if you're having someone do it for you like a copy shop. Lamination comes in different thicknesses and the thicker it is, the higher the price. I use 3 mil. and it's plenty thick enough for my cards and pictures. Some people prefer 5 mil. and that will feel about like the thickness of your driver's license. It also depends on if you print on regular copy paper or card stock.

Several years ago I bought one of these.

It is a Scotch Thermal Laminator. I seriously cannot live without it. In fact, I'm on my second one. I bought mine from Amazon.com but I've seen them at Wal-Mart and Target too. They even go on sale, so if you want one- watch for the sales. They range anywhere from $20-$40.
Here are the pouches I use. Also from Amazon.com
They are about $11 for a box of 100 and it is the 3 mil thickness. So that makes it 11 cents to laminate one sheet of paper. That is much cheaper that a copy shop.

So if you want to save some of your projects and want them to be more durable, you might want to consider lamination.

Monday, November 9, 2015


I saw a fun idea on LDS Chorister's Facebook page. But I can't find it now. I think that's a problem a lot of us have that use the sight. If you don't save the idea when you see it, you may never see it again. 

So I'd love to give credit for whomever thought of this. Let me know if it's you. THANKS!!

Anyhow, they suggested changing the words to 'If You're Happy and you know it' to If You're THANKFUL and you know'. They had some cute suggestion so I made up some card to go with it.
The kiddos take turns picking a card and everyone sings and does an action to it.
I'm going to use this for my wiggles song. I think it would be GREAT for Nursery too.

Click HERE if you'd like a copy.


Friday, November 6, 2015

Book of Mormon Stories

I sometimes forget that there are more verses to Book of Mormon Stories.

So I made some great 11 x 17 charts with all the verses.
Here is how I use them:
 I love to pass out a chart/verse to each class. Then have the pianist play the verse over and over as each class gathers around their poster and practices singing their verse. After about 4-5 times we stop and have each class come forward and sing their verse for the group. This even works in Junior Primary and it gets the teachers involved. Senior Primary can even look up the story in the Book of Mormon or tell a story about their verse.
I created the charts to be printed on 11 x 17 inch paper so they will be good quality when enlarged. Just take the file on a jump drive to your copy center and ask them to print them on that sized paper. You'll want to laminate them for durability. If you'd rather not go to that expense or want to use as a flip chart you can print on regular sized paper.

My good friend, Collette, had another great idea to use a toy bow & arrow with suction cups (like a Nerf one). Draw a bull's eye on the board with verse numbers in the circles. Then have the child shoot at it like 'Nephi in the Wilderness'. Sing wherever the arrow hits.

Click HERE to download the file.


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Head Shoulders Elbows Hips What?

Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes!
After searching many sites, I found all kinds of fun things to do with this favorite wiggle song. But I needed a visual (cause I'm a visual learner). This is especially great for the Senior Primary kids. It makes them think. So I have put it altogether. I've included pictures as well as words. Here are some of the ideas:

1. Have pictures of the body parts. Place the pictures on the board. Ask a child to mix them up. Then sing it in the new order.

2. Do different kinds of clothing.

3. Do different kinds of body movements.

4. Do other body parts.

5. Try omitting selected words each time as you sing.

Click HERE to download the file.


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Go the Second Mile

Go the Second Mile!
I've found myself singing this song many times as I go about my daily work.
I'm using this for my closing song this month because I love what it teaches about service.
I made a flip chart to use for the first few Sundays. Hopefully, by the end of the month they will know it.
The pictures are from LDS.org. I LOVE the smiles they are showing as they serve. I want to stress to the children that it's an honor to be able to serve others and to always do your best. It will make their Heavenly Father happy and they can be HAPPY too..

 Click HERE to download the flip chart.

Happy Singing!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Miracle Singing Spray

I can't remember where I read about this cute idea to motivate kids to sing, somewhere on-line. But I couldn't find a label all ready made anywhere. So I made my own.

I like to fill the bottle with water. But I know some people fill it with lemonade or Kool-aid.
 If a child is singing really well, you can spray into his/her mouth or just above their head if it's water. Sometimes if a whole class is singing well, I'll just spray all around them. My Primary kids LOVE it. I found my spray bottle at Wal-Mart for $1 by the clothespin aisle.

Click HERE if you'd like the label.


Monday, November 2, 2015

Transposing on LDS.org

The theme for the month of November is :When We Serve Others, We Serve God.
So for my opening song, we will be singing: 'A Happy Helper' on page 197A. 
This is a new song to me and I think it's perfect for the monthly theme.

It's a little high, so I went to the church's website (LDS.org), went to Serve and Teach, Other Callings, Music Callings, Church Music Website, Music Player, where you can listen to the songs. You can also change the key lower or higher. Be careful not to make it too hard for the pianist with lots of sharps or flats. It's in F major now so I hit the 'key' button at the top of the page and went down to D major with 2 sharps. Then I printed a copy for my pianist.  

I also made a flip chart to help us learn it.
Click HERE if you'd like a copy.

The King of Primary Songs

We are learning 2 new Christmas songs to sing in Sacrament meeting this year. I hate to start Christmas songs before Thanksgiving but we need the time. At least Halloween is over.

We are singing: 'Christmas Day' by Jenny W. Francis and 'The Baby Jesus' by Jo Marie Borgeson Bray. They are both found in The Friend and on LDS.org. However, The Baby Jesus copy is kind of hard to see with the yellowish background. A chorister on the LDS Chorister Facebook page took and cleaned it up in Photoshop so it's much easier to read. Thanks Cindi Brown Meier! (I've included it in the download).

Here's how I'm teaching the songs:
I found the cutest puppet on Amazon.com.

I'm calling him the KING OF PRIMARY SONGS. He is going to sing each line of the song and the kids will echo him. Then when they have it pretty good, I'll bring out some of the 'citizens' of his kingdom. (Other puppets, I'm borrowing them from my granddaughters) I will pass them out to good singers to come up and help us sing the song again with the other puppets. We'll do this several times, passing the puppets to good singers.
Not sure if I'll do this with the Sr. Primary. My 11 year old boys might not get as excited as my Sunbeams.

I have made flip charts for the two songs if you're interested in using them.
Click HERE to download 'Christmas Day'.
Click HERE to download 'The Baby Jesus'.

You can read how I like to use flip charts HERE.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Primary Pose

"Let me see your 'Primary Pose'."
That's what I say when I want my Primary kids to give me their attention and be reverent.
The very first time I do Primary, when I'm new to the calling, I explain the Primary Pose.
I hold up my camera and I ask the kids what they would do if I wanted to take their picture. Well, they all start striking different silly poses. 
Image result for camera clip art
Then I tell them that in Primary there is a special pose too. It's called the 'Primary Pose' and this is what it looks like. Then I strike the pose: 
arms folded 
mouth closed and smiling
quiet feet 
eyes on the speaker 
I get them to all try it. From then on, when ever I say, "let me see your Primary Pose," that is what I get. 
My kiddos LOVE to show me the pose!!