Saturday, April 30, 2011

Good News/ Bad News

The good news is that it's Stake Conference for me tomorrow. Yay! A sweet little break. No stressing over a Singing Time lesson plan.

The bad news is that I am speaking in Stake Conference.

Break over.

I'm not gonna lie....I am terrified.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Praise to the Man Week One

If you have read my earlier posts you already know that it's crunch time for our Sacrament meeting Mother's Day performance on account of it being Stake Conference next Sunday in my stake. Last week after primary I learned that we would, in fact be singing in Sacrament Meeting on Mother's Day.

It's all good.

But it IS crunch time. Especially because this is Praise to the Man Week One, as well.

For the Mother's Day Sacrament Meeting performance we will sing a medley of three songs, first verse only, no fluff, no frills:

Quickly I'll Obey 197
When We're Helping 198
Mother I Love You 207

Lucky for me, I have about 10 minutes before Sharing Time begins in Junior Primary (just after Sacrament Meeting) to sing wiggle songs with the children, while the presidency is ushering and preparing for Opening Exercises, so I'll use this time to sing through all three of these songs. If I need to go through them again at the beginning of Junior Singing Time, I'll do it, but it won't take long. It'll be more like a dress rehearsal where I have them pretend they are in Sacrament Meeting.

In Senior Primary Singing Time we'll sing through the medley one time and move on.

I will ask my pianist to play the first two songs all the way through once as their introduction, but we'll use the written intro on Mother I Love You. 

Praise to the Man Week One

To introduce this song I will first show this picture of William W. Phelps:
I'll explain that William knew the prophet, Joseph Smith personally, and soon after Joseph Smith was killed, or "martyred" he wrote the words to Praise to the Man to honor Joseph Smith. The feeling of this song is sort of a "joyful sadness".  It's really sad, because Joseph Smith had just been killed by a viscous mob! But it's joyful because we know that just because Joseph Smith died, does not mean that the Church of Jesus Christ died. In fact, we know that death can not "conquer", or "over take" Joseph Smith ever again, and those people who killed him can never hurt him again. We are joyful because we know that Joseph is with Heavenly Father and Jesus, (or "Gods" as is says in the words of the song), working with them and planning for the future of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (adapted from Our Latter Day Hymns, Karen Lynn Davidson, Praise to the Man pp. 55-56)

On the right....over there, but at the top---------------->----^
you will see I posted a YouTube video of the song, Fantasy on a Scottish Tune. (I did not create the slideshow.) I love this version of Praise to the Man so much! I purchased the track on iTunes for .99 and at this point in my introduction I am going to play it for the children from my iPod. Not the whole song, just the first 3:20 minutes. There are three parts I will talk to the children about before I begin playing the music. Before starting the music I will say something like this:
  1. At the very beginning I want you to notice the Scottish bagpipes. The name of tune is "Martyr", but it is sort of a copy of a tune called (say this with a resolute and brave voice and stature), "Scotland the Brave"! (Our Latter Day Hymns, Karen Lynn Davidson, Praise to the Man pp. 56)  When you hear the bagpipes I want you to think about how the they make you feel.
  2. Notice the "Regal" shift in the music. Regal is like royalty, or kings and queens! As you listen to this part, think of how it makes you feel and prepare to tell me why you think it was included in this arrangement.
  3. The first verse and chorus. Think about what you think the words mean as I show you the pictures in my flip chart. I will be asking questions about what the words mean.
So I'll play the tune, and afterwords we will take just a few seconds to discuss the answers to the questions I posed.

Next I'll go directly to the beginning of the flip chart, and I will sing the entire song through, showing the pictures from the flip chart again, while they listen (or sing along). I will be sure to sing it with all the energy and reverence that I want them to express when they sing it. 

Next...time permitting, I will start at the beginning of the song and flip chart, and explain the words and phrases of each page. I don't expect to get very far, as there will be stories to tell, and because we will practice singing each page after we discuss it. With each new page learned, we will sing the song from the beginning to that point.

When there are about 2 minutes left, we will stop and sing the song from beginning to end (doing our best realizing this is just for the sake of repetition and familiarization) using the flipchart.

This is really going to be awesome!

Have fun!

Afterthought: Feeling sort of sheepish for not even mentioning that it's Easter tomorrow. 

Happy Easter!

FYI and if you are wondering, I am not going to be using any Easter themes in my Singing Time tomorrow. It's okay, I know they will in Sacrament Meeting and Sharing Time, so that'll be covered, and I am too focused on lesson plan above.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Temple Covenants

What blessings have you received from making and keeping your temple covenants?

Please share any thoughts.


No Stress, Nope. None.

I mentioned in a comment in my last post that our primary had not been asked to sing on Mother's Day.

Woot! After all, Stake Conference for my stake is the week before Mother's Day this year. And, add to that, I am taking a big bite out of our May song, Praise to the Man, this Sunday. Fine with me if we don't have to stress about singing in Sacrament Meeting.

Then dear Brother Music Chairman asked me Sunday..."We still on for the Primary to sing in Sacrament Meeting on Mother's Day....and Father's Day?"


"Huh? What? We are singing on Mother's Day?..."

So, yes. We are signing on Mother's Day. It will be a very short (familiar, even too often sung) medley, but that's okay. The children will really shine for their moms!

Now lets see....we have this Sunday to work on Praise to the Man AND a Mother's Day medley, and then next Sunday is Stake Conference....(Sort of a day off. I get to actually be spiritually filled and fed! Yay me!) Then the next week is Mother's Day and my son's birthday who was actually born on Mother's Day... 


Hold on, it's my Stake President.

President: "Hello Sister Patterson. I'm calling to extend an invitation for you to speak in Stake Conference a week from Saturday."


"Twelve minutes..."


"...The Importance of Making and Keeping Temple Covenants."

Me: "Uh...yes. Of course."


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Riddles Review

Because we are having stake conference in two weeks, and because I want to start Praise to the Man a week early (next week), and because the children have learned our April song so quickly (Reverence is Love), I am doing my End of the Month Review tomorrow. It’s a little bit of fun I am calling:

Riddles Review

Basically, each song I will be reviewing comes with a “Challenge”.  We will sing the songs on my review list in order, and I will explain each song’s challenge before singing so the children can try their best to win as a class. The class that wins the challenge for the song sung gets to send their teacher to the front to answer a riddle. (Each class should get at least one turn.) The teacher will get 15 seconds to answer the riddle, at which time I will ring a bell and demand ask for an answer. If the teacher is able to answer the riddle (don’t worry, they won’t*), they get to choose a bag with an object in it for me to wear during singing time. If the teacher is unable to answer the riddle, or gives an incorrect answer (which is, of course, the objective), I will choose a bag containing the object that they must wear until singing time is over.

*After doing this activity in Senior Primary, and ending up wearing most of the props myself, I highly recommend much more difficult riddles! The kids were really smart and told the teachers the answers! LOL

1. Decide which songs to review. I am using the songs we have learned for the Sacrament Meeting Program (in blue) and adding a couple of Easter songs (in purple).  Each song’s challenge is attached. Here’s my list:

If I Listen with My Heart   
Challenge: Class where ALL the children in the class sing.

I will Follow God’s Plan   
Challenge: Class that knows all the words without looking at the flipchart.

Stand for the Right    
Challenge: Class that tries their hardest even thought they might not know all the words.

Reverence is Love   
Challenge: Class that sing most reverently. 

Scripture Power   
Challenge: Class that sings while smiling the most.

The Iron Rod   
Challenge: Class that sings most energetically.

He Sent His Son 
Challenge: Class that follows the chorister’s directions most exactly.

Did Jesus Really Live Again?   
Challenge: Teacher sings very well and set a good example for the children.

2. Gather *silly dress-up items and put each one in large paper bags. Since I have 8 songs, I will need 8 bags. So you will need as many bags as you have songs. I am using big brown paper bags, but you could use gift bags, or empty boxes, just whatever you have.
*I try not to include gender specific items. 

Here are some ideas:
  • Funny hat(s)
  • Huge toy sunglasses
  • Kimono 
  • Hawaiian sarong
  • Wig 
  • Snorkeling goggles
  • Apron
  • Ugly tie
  • Trench coat 
3.  Prepare a list of as many difficult riddles as you have songs. Here is my list of riddles ( I found them here ):

What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries? 
A towel.

You throw away the outside and cook the inside. Then you eat the outside and throw away the inside. What did you eat? 
Corn on the cob

What goes up and down the stairs without moving? 
A Rug.

I can run but not walk. Wherever I go, thought follows close behind. What am I?   
A Nose.

What goes around the world but stays in a corner? 
A Stamp.

Give me food, and I will live; give me water, and I will die. What am I? 

If you say my name I cease to exist. What am I? 

I am weightless, but you can see me. Put me in a bucket, and I'll make it lighter. What am I? 
A Bucket.

Be sure to act very sorry and sympathetically when the teachers don't answer the riddles correctly. If they by some miracle (for them) do happen to answer a riddle correctly, express great chagrin in having to wear a bagged item for yourself!

Have fun!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Praise to the Man

I know this is going to be my favorite song to teach this year. I have been over the top excited about it since I saw it in our 2011 Outline for Sharing Time.

This flip chart has 33 pages, but you will want to print it double-sided on white card stock, so you will actually need only 17 sheets of card stock. Click here to open and print the pdf:

After it is printed, laminate the pages and then have them bound on the left side in storybook form. They should look something like this:
This is the cover page:
These are two page views:

Have fun!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

DIY Sign Language

This is the second week that I'll be teaching Reverence is Love, but this activity could be applied to any song. 

I'll start by using the flip chart and having everyone sing the entire song. Next, I'll pass out key words of the song, each word written on a separate slip of paper. For junior primary I'll give maybe two or three words to each class, but for senior primary I'll pass out every word of the song (but I won't have the duplicate words written more than once).

I'll explain to the children that they have 90 seconds to decide on a sign language sign for the word(s) they have been given, and I'll show them a few examples. I'll tell them that it doesn't have to be real sign language sign, but if they do know a real sign language sign and want to use it, they can!

I'll ring a bell when the 90 seconds are up. Next I'll ask the class or child to come to the front and show what their sign is, and teach it to the rest of the primary children. We will begin with the words as they appear in the song.

After a complete phrase of signs is learned, we will sing that phrase two or three times to really get it in our heads before we move on to learning sign for the next phrase.

It will be interesting to see what the children come up with!

Have fun!