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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

How to Teach a Song

Handout from May 2014 Timpview Stake Leadership Meeting

How to Teach a Song

1. Know the song. Before you can teach a song effectively, you must know the song yourself.  Become familiar with the words and melody by playing the song on the piano, listening to a recording of the Children's Songbook, or listening to the music on the church's website.

2. Sing the Song. Children learn to sing a song by hearing it sung and by singing it themselves. We learn music through aural recognition and spaced repetition.

3. Use the scriptures.  Study the song to learn what message the words convey.  How could you use the scripture references at the end of the song in your preparation or in teaching the song? This is important because this is the doctrine. Incorporating the scriptures into your singing time lesson plans is a great way to provide doctrinal depth.

4. Capture the children's attention.  Use effective and appropriate teaching methods such as an object, a picture, a scripture, an experience, or simply a whisper.  Remember you are your own best visual aid.

5.  Direct children's listening. Ask questions that will encourage children to listen to the song and help children understand the gospel message.  For example, What? Where? When? Why? and state the question in such a way children can discover the answer as you sing the song.

6. Involve the children.  Have children improvise actions. Assign small groups to sing different sections or verses. Use movement to help learn rhythm patterns.

Sing, sing, sing.  Have children hum or sing the prelude music.  For special occasions have a child sing a solo or ask a group of children to sing a chorus. Have the children sing a song that teaches the gospel principle being taught in a sharing time.

Be sure to sing the weekly song listed in the sharing time outline in addition to the monthly song.
Be aware you can use songs from the Friend as well.

Bear testimony. Bear your personal testimony, or read testimonies recorded in the scriptures.  As children hear the testimonies of others they will be strengthened.

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