By creating singing time zones, you are able to do more with your allotted 20 minutes! In fact, if you focus on a different zone each week, by the end of the month, you will have hit every area of singing time! Including singing the monthly Come Follow Me suggested singing time songs, reviewing for the Primary program and singing something seasonal and/or holiday related!
What Is a Singing Time Zone?
Singing time zones are sections or areas of singing time that need attention every month. By creating zones, every Sunday of the month is assigned a different area of focus. The zones are interchangeable meaning that they can be plugged into any given Sunday during the month. Giving you TONS of flexibility!
With typically 4 Sundays in the month, it makes sense to divide the month into 4 zones:
What’s great about zoning is zones can be moved around during the month in any order! Plug in any particular zone that works well for you that month!
So let’s delve into each of the 4 zones…
Come Follow Me Zone 1 & 2
Come Follow Me Zones 1 & 2 focus on the 3 suggested songs for the singing time. These 3 songs are also known as suggested music for singing time. This is the assigned curriculum the Church would like children to focus on in singing time.
These songs follow closely along with what families and church classes are studying for Come Follow Me. Find this year’s current music for singing time HERE to know exactly what songs should be included in this singing time zone for any given month.
Because of the importance of teaching these suggested songs for singing time, they need more attention and time. So they take up 2 zones or 2 Sundays each month.
During these 2 weeks of the CFM zones, pick 1 of the 3 suggested songs to focus on. That 1 song will be included in the Primary program in the fall.
Then the other 2 songs are taught using a 5-minute song. One of those songs is sung during zone 1 and the other song is sung during zone 2.
Find more details about 5-minute songs HERE.
Primary Program Zone
Another important zone is the Primary program zone. This zone helps you prepare for the program in the fall.
During this zone, focus on reviewing of all the songs you’ve learned so far for the program. This is typically accomplished with some sort of review activity or game. This zone is always a highlight week with my Primary children!
Find all the singing time review activities and games that can be sung with ANY song HERE.
There is SO much to sing besides the 3 suggested songs each month! And there’s more to singing time than just preparing for a program.
So I LOVE to take a week off and do nothing related to those songs or the upcoming program! And I do this during the seasonal/holiday zone.
On this zone, incorporate songs around the holidays, seasons, and other events like General Conference. In my opinion, the more unfamiliar the songs are, the better!
If your Primary is asked to sing in sacrament meeting, use this zone to prepare! Now you can sing for:
During this zone, don’t sing Program songs at all! Doing so brings in SO much variety and helps prevent boredom from your kids and burnout from you!
Because I’m usually not TEACHING songs and merely introducing a wide variety of Primary songs, I almost always post the words during this zone!
These are examples of how to implement singing time zones for different months throughout the year.
- Week 1: Seasonal/Holiday Zone by introducing all the new kids/teachers in Primary with this lesson plan HERE.
- Week 2: Program Review Zone by previewing the songs for the year (because we don’t have any songs to review yet!). See how I do that with my sing along videos HERE.
- Week 3: Come Follow Me Zone 1 by teaching January’s suggested song that will be included in the program, along with a 5-minute song for the other suggested song.
- Week 4: Come Follow Me Zone 2 by continuing teaching January’s suggested song that will be included in the program along with a 5-minute song for the other suggested song.
And this is how a singing time zone might look in February:
- Week 1: Come Follow Me Zone 1 by teaching February’s suggested song along with a 5-minute song
- Week 2: Seasonal/holiday zone by doing a Valentine’s Day themed singing time.
- Week 3: Come Follow Me Zone 2 by teaching February’s suggested song along with a 5-minute song.
- Week 4: Primary Program zone by reviewing January and February’s song with a review activity.
And so on throughout the entire year!
5th Sunday Zone
Some months offer 5 Sundays. I like to call this my 5th Sunday singing time zone. I like to use this week to catch up. With General Conference, Stake Conference and no singing time on Easter and Christmas Sundays, I’m always in need of a catch up week!
But if the stars align and I don’t need to catch up, I’ll throw in an additional Primary program review zone or an additional seasonal/holiday zone.
After the Program
Once the program is over, then the focus slightly changes. There is no more need for a Primary program review zone until January. So 3 Sundays a month teach one of the 3 suggested songs. Then take the rest of time to:
- Review for the program (September)
- Sing fall songs (October)
- Sing Thanksgiving songs (November)
- Prepare to sing a Christmas song in sacrament meeting (December)
After the program is my favorite time in singing time! There are SO many seasonal Primary songs that are PERFECT to sing this time of year! Fall, Thanksgiving and best of all … Christmas! It’s seriously the best!
Singing Time To-Go
If you need help scheduling your month, join Singing Time To-Go! All the zoning has been done for you! Find more details HERE.
This set up works wonderfully and gives you so much flexibility! Teach the singing time curriculum, prepare for the program while singing a variety of other songs as well!
Come program time, there may be a few songs that still need words posted or maybe you didn’t get to all the verses but that’s 100% okay!
I mean, come on, even the Tabernacle choir gets to use their music when they perform – why can’t the Primary?
And more importantly, you are having fun by learning the gospel, and feeling the spirit through music. Rather than drilling 8 songs to death.