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Thread: Primary Choirster Idea Thread

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    Senior Member Clark Addison's Avatar
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    Default Primary Choirster Idea Thread

    This is the latest installment in my series of threads with the smallest possible amount of interest to the average CUFFER. But I know we have a few Primary veterens on the board, including one former Primary President, so I am hoping for some good ideas here.

    Background: On Mother's Day, my ward generally lets all the women go to Relief Society, and the men fill in. Because I am the ward choir director, I am usually asked to fill in for the primary choister. It usually goes about as you would expect: everyone has fun, the room is very loud, and no one learns anything.

    That leads us to my present situation. The regular Primary Choister is gone on vacation, and, having heard of my experience, asked me to fill in for three weeks. I have now completed two of the three weeks, and I will say, in all humilirty, that I am knocking it out of the park. The kids love me and are having a blast. I think my secret is that I never say "Let's be a little more reverent", or anything like unto it. Here is what we have done:

    Week 1: I downloaded a decibel meter onto my phone. We had various contests where we saw how loud we could sing songs. The kids had a blast, the room was shaking, and the primary presidency kept looking out the door to see if a member of the bishopric was storming down the hallway.

    Week 2: We played "Name that Tune", divided the primary into two teams, one kid would come up at a time, and the pianist would play the first 4 or 5 notes of a song. Teams got varying amounts of points if the kid got it himself, or if he needed help from his team, or if they needed more notes.

    So now I have one week left, and I am about out of ideas for primary singing fun. I was thinking karaoke, but that might be tough to pull off. I welcome any ideas that anyone has. Given my position as a short-timer, and also given my reputation in the ward, do not leat concepts such as "appropriateness", "relevance", or "reverence" be much of a concern.

  2. #2

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    The singing game that was always the biggest hit when I was in primary was to choose two kids, send one out of the room and let the other hide an object in the room. Then you let the child #1 back in and start singing a song. The closer he/she gets to the item, the louder you sing. The farther away, the quieter you sing. Hot and cold until they find the object. Always a hit. Never fails.
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    Philosopher of Men Sleeping in EQ's Avatar
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    I served a 4-year stretch in the primary and loved it.

    Bring in someone to play the songs on an acoustic guitar. There's usually one of those guys or gals in the ward, and the kids will love it. It's totally handbook kosher too.
    We all trust our own unorthodoxies.

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    Senior Member Clark Addison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sleeping in EQ View Post
    I served a 4-year stretch in the primary and loved it.

    Bring in someone to play the songs on an acoustic guitar. There's usually one of those guys or gals in the ward, and the kids will love it. It's totally handbook kosher too.
    I don't know if we have any guitar players in our ward, but one of my ideas was to make a primary band. I have a guitar and a cello (none of the kids would be able to touch the cello), and I could go and get some cheap instruments somewhere. Get 8 kids up there and have them accompany us.

    Here's another idea, based on the popular "Name That Tune" theme. Play the first line of a primary song backwards, and see if they can guess what it is. I have no idea how easy or difficult this would be.

    Other idea: Just bring in a huge plateload of cookies and feed them.

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    My wife was just put into the primary presidency, and I begged her to suggest my name as primary chorister. She said she would, although she warned me that the president, who is a bit too serious to be working with children, really wants someone who is a good singer.
    Anyway, last week in presidency meeting she told them that I had volunteered to do it, and everyone laughed. weep.
    It does sound like a lot of fun, and the things you have mentioned seem like a riot for the kids.
    Adults are lame. Kids rock.
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    Semper infra dignitatem PaloAltoCougar's Avatar
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    I'll send you a boardmail with some bits that our firstborn has used with her Primary group. Meanwhile, one of the weirder things Mrs. PAC has done was to come to Primary dressed up like death warmed over--bathrobe, ugly slippers, hair a mess, and ugly splotches (a few little sticky dots) over on her face. She described her grave condition to the kids, and said she needed their help.

    Selected kids had to reach into her pocket and pull out a wrinkled up Kleenex (thankfully booger-free, but still disgusting). Inside each Kleenex was a song title. Depending on the level of enthusiasm exhibited by the kids, Mrs. PAC would improve her appearance by removing or adding (a kind of musically oriented striptease, if you will, you pervs) items to improve her appearance. Anyway, the kids responded with considerable verve, and by the end of the session, Mrs. PAC was restored to her erstwhile radiant self.

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    Senior Member Clark Addison's Avatar
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    Thanks to those who responded, either here or via PM. Thanks partly to CUF, I finished out my tour yesterday with a Singing Time described by a member of the Primary Presidency as "awesome". There was one point in time that there was more dancing, jumping, screaming, and yelling going on than I think you would even see at the Ebenezer AME Zion Church down the road. I had to tone it down a bit because I was starting to sweat.

    I used a couple of ideas from CUFFERS, including the oft-recommended "Hot and Cold" game. The only snag in the otherwise very successful game was when one of the senior primary girls was looking for the object. It was hidden in a jar on the table next to where I was leading the music. She approached me, and, hearing the singing explode in volume, jumped over and started searching through my front pockets. I immediately showed her the real hiding place, and was happy to see the Primary Presidency laughing rather than calling the police.

    My number 1 tip for future Primary Choristers: Don't be afraid to look stupid. If you are having fun, the kids will. Having said that, I have decided that I am probably not a good prospect for a permanent Primary Chorister. I'm like your mom's cool younger brother, with the waterbed and sports car. It's fun to go over and stay for a couple of days when your baby brother is being born, because he lets you stay up late, and you eat nothing but cold cereal and McDonalds, and he lets you watch that questionable horror movie on HBO (which your cheap parents won't even get). But you realize as you get older that as a long-term parent, he wouldn't be very good. So it's back to the High Priests next week, where they are old and mature enough to just ignore me.

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    Senior Member Clark Addison's Avatar
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    I am substituting as the Primary Chorister tomorrow. I am putting together a game where the kids pick an envelope, which has a song they need to guess. The game can be any of a number of things. Some of them are "Name that Tune", some are simple clues, some are scripture references, and some are anagrams of the song's title.

    So, if I use the anagram "Homicidal Fag 'Do" for "I am a Child of God", what are the chances I would ever be invited to lead again?

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    Senior Member Clark Addison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clark Addison View Post
    I am substituting as the Primary Chorister tomorrow. I am putting together a game where the kids pick an envelope, which has a song they need to guess. The game can be any of a number of things. Some of them are "Name that Tune", some are simple clues, some are scripture references, and some are anagrams of the song's title.

    So, if I use the anagram "Homicidal Fag 'Do" for "I am a Child of God", what are the chances I would ever be invited to lead again?
    Popcorn Popping = Copping Pop Porn

  10. #10

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    BAD bad bad idea Clark Addison. Please don't do it.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Clark Addison's Avatar
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    Look for this very popular thread to be bumped often in the future. I have just been called as the official Ward Primary Music Leader. I'm not sure exactly how many 40+ year old male primary choristers there are in the church, but I am confident that it is a pretty exclusive club.

    I have received some contradictory instructions already. The bishop, a friend of mine, said "Just have fun with the kids" my, wife, however, glared at me and said "You have to make them be reverent!" The bishop outranks her though, so I'm going with his advice.
    Last edited by Clark Addison; 02-09-2014 at 04:22 PM.

  12. #12

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    When my wife was chorister she liked this blog for singing time ideas.

    http://intheleafytreetopsthebirdssing.blogspot.com/

  13. #13

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    Congratulations. I would not mind having that calling. I am currently the ward choir director and was reminded how much I like my calling when my wife had to go to two hours of extra meetings because of ward conference this week.

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    it's all a blur mtnbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clark Addison View Post
    Look for this very popular thread to be bumped often in the future. I have just been called as the official Ward Primary Music Leader. I'm not sure exactly how many 40+ year old male primary choristers there are in the church, but I am confident that it is a pretty exclusive club.

    I have received some contradictory instructions already. The bishop, a friend of mine, said "Just have fun with the kids" my, wife, however, glared at me and said "You have to make them be reverent!" The bishop outranks her though, so I'm going with his advice.
    You'd feel right at home in our ward; our primary chorister is a 50+ male. I don't know about 'making them be reverent', but helping them enjoy singing while keeping them under control is the goal. Fun, but not crazy. And wait for them to settle down when you need them to settle down. Don't just talk over a bunch of chatter.

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    One man.....one pie Moliere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clark Addison View Post
    Look for this very popular thread to be bumped often in the future. I have just been called as the official Ward Primary Music Leader. I'm not sure exactly how many 40+ year old male primary choristers there are in the church, but I am confident that it is a pretty exclusive club.

    I have received some contradictory instructions already. The bishop, a friend of mine, said "Just have fun with the kids" my, wife, however, glared at me and said "You have to make them be reverent!" The bishop outranks her though, so I'm going with his advice.
    That all sounds tiring.
    "Discipleship is not a spectator sport. We cannot expect to experience the blessing of faith by standing inactive on the sidelines any more than we can experience the benefits of health by sitting on a sofa watching sporting events on television and giving advice to the athletes. And yet for some, “spectator discipleship” is a preferred if not primary way of worshipping." -Pres. Uchtdorf

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    I'm going on about 5 months in the primary and while I am impressed with our primary music leaders (yes, we have two) and enjoy that part of primary, it looks like one of the toughest jobs in the church. Granted, I am not musical by any stretch, but that hour of primary is mostly all on them. Good luck, CA.

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    Senior Member Clark Addison's Avatar
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    One year in, and I will say that Primary Music Leader is the best calling in the church. There is the downside of having to spend a lot of prep time, but it is a blast, as long as you don't have one of those stick-in-the-mud Primary Presidents who expects you to keep the kids quiet and reverent. Mine doesn't, so I have a lot of fun.

    So anyway, the song for the month of March is "Follow the Prophet". I will be teaching all verses of it, just to tick off all the liberals in the ward. In fact, maybe I won't even have them sing the verses in the primary program at all; just 10 minutes of repeating the chorus at full volume.

    I thought it would be nice to write a new verse for President Monson, since most of these kids have never heard of obscure prophets like Enoch, Daniel, Jonah, etc. However, I am having a harder time than expected. Here is what I have so far. If anyone has any better ideas, I would love to hear them.

    Thomas Monson is our prophet, in the current day,
    Tells us we should marry, but not if we are gay.
    If you will be happy, do not become bitter,
    Follow Tommy's words, not Sooner's posts on Twitter
    Follow the Prophet, etc. etc.

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    Unless you want to reinvent the wheel it's already been done.

    http://sugardoodle.net/joomla/index....son&catid=3841

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    Senior Member Clark Addison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCcoug View Post
    Unless you want to reinvent the wheel it's already been done.

    http://sugardoodle.net/joomla/index....son&catid=3841
    Cool. Maybe I will submit mine.

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    Semper infra dignitatem PaloAltoCougar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clark Addison View Post
    Cool. Maybe I will submit mine.
    I'd go with yours. I may need to schedule a trip to visit the P'head family to coincide with your Primary Program

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    One man.....one pie Moliere's Avatar
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    Clark for Primary President!!

    That's a great song but maybe the metering isn't just right. Work on it a bit more and it will be perfect. In fact, I'd likely visit your ward just to hear it sung.
    "Discipleship is not a spectator sport. We cannot expect to experience the blessing of faith by standing inactive on the sidelines any more than we can experience the benefits of health by sitting on a sofa watching sporting events on television and giving advice to the athletes. And yet for some, “spectator discipleship” is a preferred if not primary way of worshipping." -Pres. Uchtdorf

  22. #22
    Last edited by Copelius; 02-11-2018 at 04:34 PM.
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    My wife and I are music leader and pianist, respectively. I hope I never get released.
    τὸν ἥλιον ἀνατέλλοντα πλείονες ἢ δυόμενον προσκυνοῦσιν

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    Senior Member Omaha 680's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by All-American View Post


    My wife and I are music leader and pianist, respectively. I hope I never get released.
    Best spousal duo callings in the church. We have the same callings. They wanted to release me when they called me as 1C YM a couple months ago but I said I'd only take the YM calling if they kept me as primary pianist.

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    Trump-hating snowflake Jeff Lebowski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Copelius View Post
    Awesome.
    "There is no creature more arrogant than a self-righteous libertarian on the web, am I right? Those folks are just intolerable."
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    Local Character clackamascoug's Avatar
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    David was a prophet
    and he like binoculars
    Bathsheba was a beauty
    but she also like night air

    Out looking for trouble
    when the moon was really full
    David somehow taught us that
    love was just more bull

    When poet puts pen to paper imagination breathes life, finding hearth and home.
    -Mid Summer's Night Dream


  27. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Omaha 680 View Post
    Best spousal duo callings in the church. We have the same callings. They wanted to release me when they called me as 1C YM a couple months ago but I said I'd only take the YM calling if they kept me as primary pianist.

    "I won't accept the new calling unless I am allowed to fulfill my other calling as well."

    Do we need a ruling on humblebrags?

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    Senior Member Omaha 680's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Applejack View Post
    "I won't accept the new calling unless I am allowed to fulfill my other calling as well."

    Do we need a ruling on humblebrags?
    I didn't mention the part where I also got a release from my building coordinator calling as part of the deal. It was quite the negotiation!

    Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk

  29. #29
    Trump-hating snowflake Jeff Lebowski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clackamascoug View Post
    David was a prophet
    and he like binoculars
    Bathsheba was a beauty
    but she also like night air

    Out looking for trouble
    when the moon was really full
    David somehow taught us that
    love was just more bull
    Haha. Clack, that is probably the worst attempt at poetry/verse in the history of this fair board. sjbh.
    "There is no creature more arrogant than a self-righteous libertarian on the web, am I right? Those folks are just intolerable."
    "It's no secret that the great American pastime is no longer baseball. Now it's sanctimony." -- Guy Periwinkle, The Nix.
    "Juilliardk N I ibuprofen Hyu I U unhurt u" - creekster

  30. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Lebowski View Post
    Haha. Clack, that is probably the worst attempt at poetry/verse in the history of this fair board. sjbh.
    Also David isn't considered a prophet except in Islam.

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