music background

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Swan Song

Today was my swan song.  Yes, I was released as primary chorister.  It's been a rough week for me as I have prepared for today, knowing it would be my last day in primary.  I have really loved this calling.  It's been nearly 3 years and I have just learned so much from the children.  They all came up and gave me hugs today and it was hard to not cry...I will miss them a great deal.

I am now Camp Director. I really loath Girls Camp.  OOOPS, did I say that out loud?  Sorry, TMI.  I was also put in as the Additional Relief Society Meeting leader.  Relief Society isn't nearly as fun as primary.  So 2014 will be a year of growth for me.  I am trying not to have a pity party but sadly I feel very sorry for myself today. 

I appreciate all of you who have read my blog and given me nice feedback.  I appreciate all the blogs I have visited and gleaned ideas from.  It is what has made this calling so rewarding.  Your ideas have made me dig deep and come up with new and inventive ways to teach songs and get the kids to really love singing the gospel.

Thank you.  Good luck with the new season of songs.  I hope I get back in the saddle some day but until then, I bid you all adieu.

Love,  Brittany

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Christmas Caroling

So I decided to make caroling books for the children this year.  It is hard when you sing these songs only once a year (if that because you never get to them all).  I know the kids are familiar with the tunes but not the lyrics.  So I typed up the Christmas songs in the song book and put them in a little pamphlet book.  We will be using these pamphlet books all month long, so I pass them out at the beginning of singing time and then collect them at the end.  This doesn't really help the kids who can't read but it does allow me to do a lot of fun things with the seniors and in junior primary, the back row can read and the teachers can follow along which might be enough help to do more songs this month than I would typically do.

So along with my books I have created some singing cards.  These cards can be used for several Sundays in a row because they are all different and you won't get to them all in one Sunday.  Just make sure you pull the cards out that you used in the previous weeks so you don't repeat in the following week.  I like to keep it fresh for the kids. 

Note you can put the song title in the card stack more than once, just make sure you present it differently.

Jesus Is Born (to the tune of Follow the Prophet - see older posts under CHRISTMAS lable for lyrics) - clap out rhythm and have the kids guess song - then sing

Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus- Name this tune in 5 words of less.  Have the kids read off the clues one by one 1. waiting 2. prophets 3. Book of Mormon 4. signs 5 overseas  Can they guess the song?

Have A Very Merry Christmas-  Hum this song, without piano, and have the kids guess what it is

Once Within A Lowly Stable -  Looo-Looo this song, without piano, and have kids guess what it is

The Nativity Song-  Using a bag of props that you give to the helper, have him/her pick some out and act out this song and see if they can guess which song it is.  (note:  my helps are like pieces of the nativity, a picture of the new star, or a stable, ect... nothing big)

Picture a Christmas-  Pictionary, with chalk, have the helper draw this song on the chalk board and see if the kids can guess what it is.  Hint, have the kids draw a camera or a picture frame (if they need help)

Away In A Manger-  Pictionary, with chalk, have a helper draw this song on the chalk board and see if the kids can guess what it is.  Hint, draw a manger far away with an arrow pointing towards it(if they need help)

Little Jesus -  Pictionary, with chalk, have the helper draw this song on the chalk board and see if the kdis can guess what it is.  Hint, draw a teeny tiny Jesus (if they need help)

Shepherd's Carol-  AROUND WE GO!  This is a COOL song, have you ever sung it?  Have the kids sing this in a round.

When Joseph Went to Bethlehem -  Name that tune, have the pianist give a few notes.  Have the helper tell the pianist how many notes to give and then the helper can give more notes if the audience isn't getting it.

Christmas Bells -  Clap out the rhythm to the audience, can they guess it?  Then have helper pick other helpers to ring the bells while singing this song

Stars Were Gleaming -  Name this tune, have helper tell the pianist how many notes to give...

Again if you think of other things to do with the songs you can vary the activities on the back of these cards as much as you want, thus songs can be in the pile more than once.  Like you can do Pictionary for one song and also name that tune for that same song, this just allows you to sing these songs more this season.  The goal is to give a variety of activities while singing ALL these songs. I did eliminate a few songs in the Christmas sections because my kids are totally unfamiliar with them and I felt it was not a good fit for my kids but you can include them all if you like.  You can also include the well known Christmas hymns.  How I have been doing this is that we sing the Christmas hymns for opening and closing songs and then the primary Christmas songs during music time.  Perhaps this singing time idea will give you a few weeks of activities and you won't have to continually be preparing every week, which is why I did this, to simplify my December.  I am using it for the next 2 weeks. 

I have loads of other Christmas ideas under my CHRSTMAS label at the bottom of my blog as well for those of you stuck without ideas this holiday.  Also, SUNBEAM SINGING always posts cute, cute things.  Good luk. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Turkey Target

I have been thinking of things to do this month that are different than what I did last year themed around Thanksgiving.  I was fooling around with the previous post and my son's NERF guns and decided the kids would probably love a singing time with the NERF alone.  Maybe you have a son who has a NERF gun, if you do, this might be an idea for you!

What about a Turkey Target, print this out and put it on the chalk board and let the children have target practice.  This could be fun.  Each helper would get a turn and then you can sing a song with after each attempt...if they get a bull's eye, then the helper could choose the song or they could choose a class to sing it or teachers only or something silly or different.  Here is the link to the target:

Or you can make your own. 

Free Turkey Target

Turkey Shoot- new spin on an old idea

Sometimes I hate repeating ideas. I have been at this job long enough that when seasons rolls around and around, I get the same old tired games out.  It's times like these that I try to think of ways to reinvent those games or ideas and make them fresh.

So last year, I did post my Turkey Bowl idea.  The is a template for these balloon turkeys (sorry mine from my previous post is horrible) are found at this creative gal's blog.

So I have used these turkeys a lot of was designed as a bowling game, which is totally fun but I have played it with the kids this way before and wanted to reinvent it.  And here is how:

I was thinking about a TURKEY SHOOT.  I have 6 turkey cards to the helper can choose from. 

Each card has a direction on one side and a song on the back:

1)  Toss the Turkey - toss a ring around a turkey (so you just set one of these little balloon turkeys out and see if the helper can get the ring around it.  Give them several attempts!  Whether they can get the ring around the turkey or not, you sing the song on the back.  SONG:  HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A TURKEY
2)  Pumpkin Roll- much like bowling but you use a mini pumpkin.  Just set up one of these balloon turkeys on the floor and have the child see if they knock it down by rolling a pumpkin at it.  Song:  TURKEY DINNER
3)SHOOT IT-  Nerf gun...have the child see if they can shoot it with the Nerf gun.  (I suspect this one will be popular)  Song: COUNT YOUR BLESSING, just the chorus.
4)  GET A STRIKE- so set up the balloon in a bowling formation and do one round to see if the helper can get a strike.  SONG:  My HEAVENLY FATHER LOVES ME
5)  Pop Goes The Turkey-  have the helper come up and pop the turkey with a pin.  SONG:  CHILDREN ALL OVER THE WORLD.
6)  YOU'RE A TURKEY-  Free Choice:  whatever they want and out of all the options of a strike, a pumpkin roll, a pop or a Nerf shot, they can choose which method they want to shoot the turkey.  Then they get to pick the song as well.

This is just a way to spice of the old version of this game.  I think it will be fun because we are doing something different with every turn.  If you don't want to make these balloon turkeys you could come up with your own target and use that instead. I have these made which is why I am using them.  Saves me a headache but I would imagine anything would work!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Draw A Turkey & Sing

I saw this idea on PINTEREST and wondered if I could make it into a singing time.  Here is how I think I will work it.  This singing time will be done on the chalk board.  You can print this graphic out below to give to the child so they can see what they are suppose to draw and how.  Here is the link if you want to go to the site to print it off:

I have a large dice and the helper will roll, depending on the number they roll, they will have to draw with chalk, the shape...of course this will be sort of tricky and perhaps silly because typically you'd start with the base of the turkey but who knows what you will roll.  This turkey could end up looking quite strange!

You can do this two ways...each time a helper draws, you can sing a song with it OR you can just draw the turkey as you roll the dice but if a helper rolls a number that you've already drawn, then that is when they have to sing.  Otherwise, if the helper rolls a number that has already been rolled and drawn, you give them a second try.

SINGING TIME IDEA: game Roll-a-Turkey game -

Monday, October 28, 2013


Last year, I posted the idea of singing TURKEY DINNER with the primary children and I attempted to attach the music and it was so poor quality. I found a simple version of ARE YOU SLEEP ON THE NET

Turkey Dinner
Turkey Dinner
Gather 'round
Gather 'round
Who will get the drum stick
Yummy yummy yum stick
All Sit Down
All Sit Down

Corn bread muffin
Chestnut stuffin'
Pumpkin pie
One foot high
We were all much thinner
Before we came to dinner

You can sing this in a round. 

It's kinda fun!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Songs for the Seasons!

I often add stuff to my music mix in primary that are not in the primary song book.  Sadly my pianist finds this super annoying.  I love her.  She is the best!

I have included two little ditties if you are interested in adding anything over the next few months.  This first song is called ONE BRIGHT STAR.  I found this website with free sacred music.  I love it. I am also the WARD MUSIC CHAIR and so I have used stuff off this site often in doing music in primary and for sacrament meetings.  They had this sweet little song for primary children.  What I love about this song is that it is easy.  ONLY 2 verses and the second verse is shorter than the first.  I find it hard to teach some of the primary Children's Song Book Christmas songs because they either have really obscure melodies OR they have a million verses. I honestly felt this was easier than teaching the Nativity Song, which I love, but has too many verses to learn in one short month!

This is a song I sang as a kid.  It is a Janice Kapp Perry special.  What is cool about this song is that it has two parts, like LOVE IS SPOKEN HERE.  However it is simple to sing and learn and works well with visual prompts so I don't think this will be hard to learn at they don't have to know it perfect to sing it.  It is about blessings.  I found it on  It would be fun to do a singing time on blessings and have the kids hold up pictures of the things it lists off while they sing it.

This is another song I am going to introduce next month because my primary children have been begging for it.  It was featured on the CD my ward gave out to the kids in 2012.  It is a Sing Me A Scripture Song by Kamie Bolen Jacobs.  It is just the verse, 1st Nephi 3:7 put to music.  The music is so beautiful (again my pianist is grumbling at me).  It is a new take on Nephi's Courage.  The download is FREE, which is cool since she charges for most of her arrangements.  If you feel ambitious, check this out!