Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Benefits of being the Primary Music Leader.

Since being called as Primary Music Leader (Chorister), I have made a mental list of the many benefits that come with the calling:

1. I get to know all the Primary kids, not just one class.
2. I get to sing with all the Nursery children, and prepare them for Primary.
3. Many of the Primary and Nursery kids think I'm their new best friend, so I get hugs and waves throughout Sacrament Meeting, and in the halls.
4. I get to sing.
5. I get to "perform" every week.
6. I get to move around, dance, fall on the ground, stand up, and generally act silly, especially during Junior Primary and Nursery.
7. This calling is a pretty autonomous. Of course, the Primary Presidency is involved, but they pretty much let me do my own thing.

Now, I know that being the chorister isn't for everyone. You have to feel comfortable with music and kids, and "performing" weekly.

I have learned a few things in my six months in this calling:

-Don't underestimate the children's abilities. They are capable of doing more than the (relatively) simple arrangements in the Children's Songbook. It takes more time and work, but they can pull of more complicated songs.
-Do explain the dynamics and structure of the song. Teach them music skills along the way. It'll help in the long run.
-Do learn the songs yourself, and be enthusiastic about them.
-Don't just stick with showing pictures to help them learn the words--use props, drawings on the board, individual children to represent different lines, etc.
-Get the children up and moving, especially during wiggle songs (have them march around you, if you can).
-Don't always ask them if we should "sing the song one more time" or something like that. Instead, simply tell them what we're going to do. They'll follow in line and it doesn't give them an opportunity to whine.
-Demand excellence. It will come.

I'm excited to see what the next year will teach me--and if anyone reading this has ideas, feel free to add them!

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