Monday, June 8, 2015

Conducting Lessons

Recently we visited a certain Wizarding World theme park based off a certain book that I spent a good portion of my childhood/young adult years obsessing over. Need proof? Here's my bedroom from when I was 13 years old. Why yes, that is HP toothpaste on the self-made lightening bolt shelf and towels tacked to the ceiling.
Anyway, while visiting that theme park, the husband and I went a little overboard on the merchandise. Although, considering the level of my devotion to HP, I feel like I actually held back quite a lot and practiced a lot of self control. They have so, so much cool stuff there. The food, the butterbeer, the ambiance, the rides! Every truly devoted Harry Potter fan is not complete without their own Marauder's Map or set of Hogwarts robes, right?

The point is, we ended up with only four of these beauties (we wanted closer to 50 of them. Someday.). Anyone else out there own a wand of some kind? (Awesome wand display built by my husband, btw. Why have wands if you aren't even going to display them? Or have them at the ready if needed, of course.)

If you do happen to have one of these, turns out they make a great tool for singing time!

I just bring a few of these along, and introduce them as a conductor's baton. I teach the kids about time signatures and how to conduct, show them how bigger conducting signals for the singers to sing louder, and smaller conducting tells your choir to sing softer, etc. We practice just using our hands and singing along with a song. Then I pick someone to come up and use the "baton" to conduct their choir. Sometimes I have them stand up in a group as a choir would. Need some help with time signatures and how to conduct? The church has a resource for that right here.

The kids think it's so cool to use the "baton" and the singers really respond to their enthusiastic conducting. You can mix it up by picking four kids to come up and make a quartet to conduct, then bring in the rest of the kids on the chorus. Super bonus, you are teaching the kids time signatures and enriching their musical education.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Girls Sing, Boys Sing

Classic, right? Can't go wrong with one of the simplest Singing Time activities out there. I drew these, printed, and laminated them for my very first day in primary.

Singing time!

I now have a new calling! I am doing Singing Time for junior & senior primary as well as nursery. I think this has been my favorite calling so far. As a creative with a focus on children's art, I feel like this is something I can really sink my teeth into.

 By the way, are you on instagram? Because I am! Follow along @liliribs_art for more of my art, ideas, and freebies and be sure to check out my portfolio at Moving on!

As a general rule, I try to not go overboard on activities, and focus more on facilitating as much singing as possible. I just don't have that much time to plan out elaborate activities and games with my busy schedule. Well done to those who do have the time and patience, but when it takes 25 minutes just to drive to church, you have to pick your battles. Drawing and singing are my strongest assets, so I put them to good use with this calling in the few months that I've had it.

Here's a few activities I have come up with recently that have been well received.

Do I need to come up with names for things like this? Perhaps it would be easier. We'll call this Silly Face Singers (unless someone comes up with something better. . .) We used to do this all the time in Sacrament Meeting when we were little. The concept is very simple.

See the attached pictures below, which I laminated and taped up on the board. We would sing a song, and then I'd choose a great singer to come up and choose a facial feature from the section of my choice (start with the head, ears, eyes, etc.) I then drew what they chose on a pad of paper, but didn't let them see it. We continued singing and choosing parts for me to draw until we finished our face. They were quite amused with what they had come up with, and the big reveal at the end was very exciting. You can mix it up by having the kids draw the facial features themselves, or don't hide it and draw it right in front of them. Super easy with very little prep! 

Download the PDFs HERE or click and save the JPEGS below.

Another activity we did that really went well and held the kid's attention (and required zero preparation) was Live Flipcharts. As we learned The Holy Ghost, we went line by line and I would ask them what I should draw to represent that phrase. I basically drew a flip chart live as we learned the song. The kids loved being able to pick what to draw as well as watching me draw it out, and it helped them remember the song since they already had the word association from picking the picture, etc.

I challenged senior primary a little more (we only have about 10 kids in senior) by doing the same thing, but giving them a note card and having them draw their own little cheat sheet. It kept them busy, they learned the song, and did a little art project in the process. It was fun to see how all their cards turned out. Here are some of the drawings they did.

The last activity I did with drawing was Sketching Singers. Super simple execution. Have the kids sing a song, and while they are singing you sketch a picture (I used a personal sized whiteboard, but you can use a paper and give it to them after primary as a prize) of who you think is doing a great job. After the song, turn your picture around and see if they can guess who was the super singer. I have never seen the children sing so well as when I was drawing them. As a bonus I told them that artists have to concentrate super hard, so anyone goofing off would throw off my groove. Totally worked.