Calling all Primary Choristers.

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Claytonius Maximus
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Calling all Primary Choristers.

Postby Claytonius Maximus » Mon 15 Nov, 2010 10:36 am

Has anybody ever been in a ward where the primary chorister was male? I never had, until a year or two ago when one of my personal heroes broke the gender barrier and was called to be our chorister. He was super funny, and really really great at it.

But enough about him. Now I'VE just been called to be our chorister, and I need all the help I can get.

Some of you have been choristers. You were awesome choristers. Pass on some of your magic: your tips, tricks, games, activities, resources, WHATEVERS. Oh yeah, and I start next week.

Thanks,

CM
"You know, it's always a great thing when a director looks at you and says, `Even cheesier.'"

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Momma Snider
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Re: Calling all Primary Choristers.

Postby Momma Snider » Mon 15 Nov, 2010 11:53 am

We had an older man once as a chorister, and he was great. I've only been the chorister a couple of times, but I've been the pianist about a billion times, and I was over music in the stake Primary presidency twice, and I have a couple of general observations. First, learn the songs!!! Be prepared to sing them a line at a time or whatever as you're teaching them to the kids. You'll use all kinds of other aids to help them learn the words, but they need to hear you sing. Somehow it's easier for them to pick up the melody when they hear the words and melody together, rather than listening to it on the piano. And you have to know the song yourself. Having the book available is okay, but you don't want to have to rely on it.

Related to that, I noticed in the sacrament meeting program I attended a few weeks ago that they had given the older kids copies of the songs. In the first place, they had just has much opportunity to learn as the younger ones did, and they focused on reading the words instead of singing out, and memorization is the only way to internalize the messages of the songs, so they really missed out.

Minor pet peeve: find out what time you have singing time, and what time it ends. I can't count the number of times I've heard the chorister (and way too often, the member of the presidency who is conducting the meeting) ask, "How much time do I have?"

Have fun!

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WiseNLucky
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Re: Calling all Primary Choristers.

Postby WiseNLucky » Mon 15 Nov, 2010 01:16 pm

Our current chorister is awesome. She has a different interesting "hook" each week for selecting and practicing the songs, and the kids really get into it. The only one I thought was weird was when she had a large female face with a hole in it where the mouth was, and the kids pulled string through the hole (mouth) to represent the woman eating spagetti. The kids were to pull faster when the singing was louder and slow down when it got quieter. I'm sure I was the only one who though it freaky. But having something interesting (dice, baloons, popcicle sticks, notes glued around the classroom, etc.) to help pick the songs and competition of some sort to sing them properly and loudly work really great.

Good luck.

I'm still waiting to see the first male Primary President. We already several have more male teachers than female. Usually we have more male adults in the room than females, even with the Presidency.
WiseNLucky

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lilcis
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Re: Calling all Primary Choristers.

Postby lilcis » Mon 15 Nov, 2010 02:43 pm

I'm second counselor in the presidency and we were instructed by the stake presidency that singing time is more important than sharing time, and if we're running late one day we should never cut into singing time, even if it means leaving only 5 minutes for sharing time.

We have two choristers, one is awesome and the other is awful. The awesome one is older and often concerned that she doesn't have enough energy for the kids. She's always prepared, though, and does an awesome job teaching the kids. She takes time every now and then to point out the gospel lessons that the songs are teaching. I think that's really fantastic.

The awful chorister always just "wings" it. She never prepares any aides to help the kids learn the songs, and she usually doesn't decide what songs they'll sing before she gets there. She also vanishes frequently during the hour. So if we want to sing one of the articles of faith during opening exercises or have a song as part of sharing time one of the presidency members has to step in. Don't be like her. :roll:
Why are you the way that you are? Honestly, every time I try to do something fun or exciting, you make it not that way. I hate so much about the things that you choose to be. Michael Scott

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Momma Snider
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Re: Calling all Primary Choristers.

Postby Momma Snider » Tue 16 Nov, 2010 03:49 pm

Dependability has got to be the most important attribute in any calling. It amazes me when people just don't show up. What do they think HAPPENS?

I've never been in a ward Primary presidency, but I've seen an awful lot of scurrying around by presidencies who are trying to cover two or three classes nearly every Sunday. I don't understand it.

CM, I'm glad you're happy about this calling. I'm sure the kids will love you
!

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Claytonius Maximus
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Re: Calling all Primary Choristers.

Postby Claytonius Maximus » Tue 16 Nov, 2010 08:45 pm

Thanks for the insights so far everybody.

Points I've gleaned so far:
1) Know the songs. I'm good about this so far, I'll just have to work on the new ones we introduce.
2) SING IT loud and sing it proud. I might have to work on this.
3) Momma, it's funny that you mentioned the "how much time do I have" bit. It's one of my peeves too, and I've already emailed the Primary Presidency about it.
4) A hook each week (but watch out for weird spaghetti-slurping craziness) and some loudness competition
5) Be prepared (don't be the "wing it" guy)
6) Mix in some gospel teachings sometimes
7) Be there, or make arrangements

Thanks again guys,

I'm getting less apprehensive, thinking I can do this.

CM
"You know, it's always a great thing when a director looks at you and says, `Even cheesier.'"

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Card
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Re: Calling all Primary Choristers.

Postby Card » Wed 17 Nov, 2010 12:11 pm

Start out with a wiggle song where they can stand up and get the wiggles out, such as popcorn popping.

Have a lot of participation that is contingent on reverence. Basically, you should state that you are looking for someone to help or participate in an activity, but they need to be really reverent. And then ask the teachers to pick someone in their class who has been really reverent. Hopefully the kids learn to be reverent AND hopefully the teachers will remember who has been picked and choose kids so all get a chance to participate sometime.

Also, I like the activity where you put stuff around the room for the kids to find. I think they like it too.

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lilcis
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Re: Calling all Primary Choristers.

Postby lilcis » Wed 17 Nov, 2010 06:48 pm

Card wrote:Start out with a wiggle song where they can stand up and get the wiggles out, such as popcorn popping.


That reminds me, I always appreciate when the chorister ENDS with a reverent song. That way I feel like they are ready to focus on and participate in my Sharing Time lesson.
Why are you the way that you are? Honestly, every time I try to do something fun or exciting, you make it not that way. I hate so much about the things that you choose to be. Michael Scott

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WiseNLucky
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Re: Calling all Primary Choristers.

Postby WiseNLucky » Sun 19 Dec, 2010 10:23 pm

WiseNLucky wrote:We already several have more male teachers than female. Usually we have more male adults in the room than females, even with the Presidency.


Today we had only one female primary teacher. On top of that, our primary pianist was released and replaced by a man. We are taking over the asylum.
WiseNLucky



Horizontally gifted since . . . .


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