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.


  1. Such a tough song to teach! It's a great plan, though:) I took the lazy way out & just taught it to the Sr. Primary. And my laziness didn't stop there. I taught them how to read & sing out of the hymn book. They'll be using the books in the program & the congregation is going to sing with them. How's that for lazy?

    Have a great Easter!

  2. @Tifany: Rebel! Hehe...I don't think you are lazy, I think you are brilliant!

  3. Tiffany - Some kids who don't like to sing, will sing better with the music. It is a different experience and is wonderful for the older kids. I like your idea of having only the senior primary sing. With Mother's Day and Father's Day just around the corner, it is a great option.

  4. Thank you, thank you. I have prayed about this song and how to present it. I seamed to be guided this morning as I have found just what I was looking for. As for the senior children singing with the book, it helps if they do know how to sing out of the book. I taught "I stand all amazed" last month and had the children read the verse as I sang to them and they followed in the hymn book. They really did a great job.

  5. Bridgette--Thank you so much for posting this and for sharing the song. I've never heard that rendition before and it actually made me excited to teach this song that I've been so intimidated by since being called as the chorister in January.
    Tifany--Thank you also for sharing how you taught the song. It really is brilliant.
    To both of you: Thanks for giving me the courage I need to do this! :)

  6. Your flipchart is one of the most thoughtful, relevant displays I have ever seen. The pictures matched the lyrics so well - what a feat! Thank you so very much.


  7. Just found your blog this morning... WOW! Thank you for all of your time and effort and CREATIVITY. I am in our Stake Primary and love to share monthly ideas with the Ward Choristers in our stake. Your blog will definitely be shared!

    And good luck on your talk today. I know you will do great!

  8. AMAZING!!! I LOVE this blog. One of my new favorites. Thanks for all your hard work. I LOVE that you use one large picture then do words. After they get better at the song I can take away the words and just use the pictures as prompts. The JR. Primary can't read any way, so the words don't help most of my little ones (12!-Sunbeams!)
    Keep up the great work.