Saturday, February 23, 2013

Saturday do re mi fa So What

I was on a radio show, giving an interview about my book, not too long ago. Off air, the host said she felt she had received a personal revelation about me. In several chapters of my book, Finished being Fat, I talk about how I used to compose music. I went to special camps, auditions, you name it. Not many 13 year olds I knew in West Virginia could compose a 5 movement opus. So I went to BYU, ready to blow them away -- and got trounced. Suddenly my specialness wasn't so special anymore. The little voice in the back of my head got the best of me, and I gave up.  I went from 6 hours a day of music practicing and composing to nearly nothing for 13 years. It was too painful. I had something God given, was meant to do something, but I turned away.

Fast forward back to the radio lady's revelation. She told me she felt I was not done with music and I had things left that the Lord wanted me to do.  I thanked her politely, while in the back of my head saying, "When the devil and Nancy Kerrigan go ice skating."

Apparently I was wrong. The Lord, in his infinite wisdom, has decided that it is time for me to dip my toes back in. Or he wanted to throw me to the lions. Either way, I'm the new Primary Chorister.

So now every Sunday I am expected to confront my two biggest demons -- music and mass quantities of small children.

I need help.

My first two weeks went alright, but I need ideas to entertain, teach, and maintain order. 

So What do you have for me, oh wise and wonderful readers? Don't be shy. 


  1. I’m with ya, Betsy! I am the Primary Chorister in our ward. There are actually some really great training videos on

    And I have found some amazing blogs through Pinterest that have helped me come up with new ideas.

    One simple thing I’ve done this month is that we’re practicing I Am a Child of God and My Heavenly Father Loves Me- I’ve had them play what I call the “I Me My Game”- every time they hear the word “I” “Me” or “My” in the song they have to stand up, then sit down. It’s a workout, let me tell you! But it helps us to keep singing the song and get the wiggles out at the same time. I also have a jar of “Wiggle Worms” that I use sometimes- it’s just craft sticks that I put faces on to make them look kind of like worms, then on the other end I have actions we can do, like hop on one foot, conduct the music, touch your toes, etc.

    One other thing I’ve implemented is something I call “SSS” which stands for “Stand, Sing, and Smile!” We do the “Triple S” as the very last part of Singing Time. It helps them to practice singing a song like they will in the program- I have the pianist begin to play, which is my signal to raise my hands. When the kids see my hands raised, they scoot to the edges of their seats to prepare to stand. Then I “lift” them up with my hands, we put on our best smiles, and sing as lovely as we can. (No louder than lovely!) I’ve always thought it was a little silly that we waited until right before the program to teach them to stand in unison. I figure this way by the time the fall rolls around they’ll be old pros at it!

    Feel free to e-mail me and we can trade ideas. Goodness knows I always need more!! Oh, and by the way, it’s pretty much THE most fun calling in the church. I love it. :-)

  2. Kasey, sounds like you know what you're doing! Nice to read, Betsy, that you are returning to music. Talents in writing AND music. Lucky girl. :-) Teaching little ones is the best. I'm sure you'll do fine. :-)

  3. Yes, Kasey. I need massive amounts of help. Though I'm afraid the sharing will be a little lopsided. LOL

  4. I've been primary chorister in our ward for about a year and a half now. It was my first time at the calling too.
    KaseyQ is giving some very good advice--there are lots of blogs out there of ideas to use as primary chorister.

    I figured out that I really needed three kinds of ideas.
    1) Ideas for teaching a song
    2) Ideas for singing a song over and over and over again without getting boring.
    3) Ideas for reviewing a bunch of songs at once.

    The more ideas you can think of or find that fall into these three categories, the more prepared you'll be. Make three files on your computer and dump your favorite ideas that you find into these files for future reference.

    Also, I make a chart for the month of what we'll be singing for opening, birthdays, visitors, and for singing time so that I know what songs I've used so I rotate through them.

    This is one of the best callings. It's a great excuse to have fun and get lots of kids excited. It can also be incredibly spiritual.

    Good luck!



Related Posts with Thumbnails