After several primary programs, I’ve slowly discovered a few helpful hints to running a smooth primary program. These hints include help with practicing in the chapel along with staying organized as you conduct. I thought I’d share. Please add any ideas you have in the comments section!!
When we review in the chapel, I like to bring this big guy:
He’s on a super duper long string. Long enough that he can touch the ceiling of the chapel. I have a presidency member sit in the back and if the kids don’t sing loud enough, he starts to come down. As soon as the kids are loud enough, he goes back up. It’s a fun shake up to the tedious reviewing.
I’ve also had the thought to use him when the kids speak their parts into the microphone. If they speak clearly and slowly, the balloon will stay up high. But if they go too fast or are too soft, he’ll fall down.
I use the little flags to get all my songbook pages in order:
This way I can quickly get to the next song without fumbling over pages. For our program, songs 1 and 2 are photo copies of As a Child of God and Choose the Right that I’ll just have on my music stand.
I know it’s not for everyone but I post the words of all my songs and hang them over the back of my music stand during the program (find the details on how I do that HERE
if you don’t already know). I like how I get all the kids looking my way. It also really helps the teachers sing. The congregation has no idea they are there. I put all the songs in order and quickly flip them.
I also like to stand below the pulpit, just off to the side near the front row (between songs, I sit on the front row). Our chapel has a little stand that is big enough to fit my music stand and myself! Works great because I’m not blocking any of the kids and we always have kids filling the seats where the Bishopric sits. This way everyone, including the pianist can see me.
After Sacrament meeting, our presidency made up “award certificates” with a candy bar attached to pass out to all the kids (I even got one too!). Here’s what they looked like:
Please leave any comments on things you do to help make your program flow better! Good luck to everyone with their primary program this year!
Make sure to scroll through all of my Program Helps posts HERE
9 thoughts on “Program Helps”
Love the balloon! I actually photocopy all my songs and make a program binder. The teachers appreciate a copy too. We have a an extra practice on the Friday before. If the kids have their parts memorized they get a candy bar. Good luck!
Hi, Camille. Thanks for sharing your ideas. Could I have a copy of the "award certificates" your Presidency made up?
Hugs from Brazil.
Hi Dani, I uploaded a picture so you can see what they look like. I didn't make them so I don't have an electronic copy. I hope this can help though.
I love the balloon idea! I'm a relatively new Primary Chorister and though the kids know they songs, there is hardly any volume. We're trying to teach them confidence and thought maybe I'd have someone hold a picture of Jesus in the back so they could sing to him (which we might still do during the program). The raising and lowering of a balloon is a good visual for practicing though! thanks.
Camille, I was wondering if I could translate your post to Portuguese and put it in my Brazillian blog, with a link to yours, of course. By the way, thanks for uploading the picture of the award. I'll probably make some for my kids. Our presentation will be in just two weeks!
That would be totally fine! I'm flattered ;).
I make a binder of all the songs as well and don't use the Children's Songbook during the program (too big and bulky on the stand). I am also using some different piano arrangments of a few of the songs this year, so there are only a couple in the book anyway. I also stand down in front of the pulpit off to the side – for the same reasons as Camille. We do some solo parts in multiple songs, and I position these kids in different parts of the choir seats, and have remote microphones for them. This limits movement, makes the "part" of the primary while we sing, and ensures everyone in the chapel and overflow/gym can hear them. I have never used the balloon idea (I am going to this year)…. but in practices have stood on at the back row of the chapel so the kids feel they need to sing louder to get the sound to me. I also have little hand signals that I use that tell the kids to "turn up the volume". I love this time of year! It's so great to have these children bring such a special spirit to the congregational meeting!! ~Ben
thank you sister!, I love how you expleind and show the pictures, I am not good with my english but the pictures help me a lot, your work is amazing. saludos, Maru.
Great ideas. Thank you so much. I will share our Primary's experiences as we apply these ideas.