2015 Pat Graham Workshop – NOTES


Pat Graham’s 2015 Singing Time Workshop was wonderful!  I’ve shared all the information I learned so make sure you check it out…

Camille's Primary Ideas: Pat Graham Workshop
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Thank you Barbara {pictured on the left and I’m on the right} for sharing your picture of us and Sister Graham!!
I’ve scanned in Sister Pat Graham’s workshop handouts from Saturday’s workshop.  You can find them by using the access button at the bottom of this post.
If you want to see a workshop she did a few years ago, find my videos HERE.  Her teaching technique is pretty similar as are her workshops so if you couldn’t go this year, you can get a main idea of her teaching style from the previous year’s videos.
The main reason I like to go each year is to gather lesson plan ideas for songs we are teaching the current year that are not found in The Children’s Songbook Companion.  This year, there are 2 songs, I Know That My Savior Loves Me and Come Follow Me.  Both of which she had some great teaching techniques and ideas.
She also had several of her books for sale.  You can purchase some of them on Amazon if you are interested:

A Children's Songbook Companion

A Children’ Songbook Companion is now available to download HERE completely free!  Or purchase the book here (Amazon affiliate link):

This book is also available to download HERE completely free!  Or purchase the book here (Amazon affiliate link):

A Children's Songbook Companion Artbook

Stories of the Children's Songbook

And this book is also available to download HERE completely free!  Or purchase the book here (Amazon affiliate link):

We Shall Make Music

This is the old version of the same book but it’s titled We Shall Make Music:

More from Sister Pat Graham:

These books below can be purchased from her blog HERE (I don’t think they are available on Amazon – at least I couldn’t find them).  They include:

Sister Pat Graham The Hill Cumorah Coloring Book
Sister Pat Graham Musical Stories for Children Book

More From the Workshop

Sister Graham mentioned an article in the Church News.  Here’s what she read from it:

Sister Stevens said “an important way to teach about the Savior is through music. ‘One way to ensure that music is an important part of Primary is to have singing time first.’”
“Singing time will set the tone for the sharing time lessons,” Sister Wixom said. Singing also helps children feel the Spirit and learn truths they can remember and share at home.
‘“Wouldn’t it be great if every family could learn that song and sing it in their home,” said Sister Esplin. “As they sing, they are bearing their testimony about the Savior.”’
  • Sister Graham also mentioned the tools in The Children’s Songbook found HERE entitled “Using the Songbook.”  Links include “How to Teach a Song to Children,” “How to Add Variety to Singing,” “How to Conduct a Song,” and LOTS more!
  • Echo is an easy way to get a song going.”  She sang a phrase of a song into a child’s microphone, then pointed out to us and we echoed what she sang.  She finished the entire song that way.
  • Also using the microphone, you can teach children their singing vs. speaking vs. whisper, calling, and big voices using the echo example above.  You say “this is my singing voice.” and sing that into the microphone.  Then point it to the children and have them repeat you.  Do the same for your speaking voice, your whisper voice, your calling or big voice (the terms she used for loud as not to have the kids yelling and screaming).
  • We are not “Choristers” but “Primary Music Leaders.”  She said the definition of a chorister is “a member of a choir.”  I did some Googling on this and she is correct but there is also a 2nd definition which states, “a person who leads the singing of a church choir or congregation” so I’d say either is correct.  I do think the church handbook refers to the calling as the Music Leader, however.
  • She talked about making a plan: a yearly, monthly and weekly plan and give a copy to the pianist (I’d also add to give a copy to the Primary Presidency).  I make a yearly plan when I do my CD’s – I just plan what monthly songs we will sing for the year at that time.  Then I make a monthly outline that I give to my pianist and presidency that includes all the opening, birthday, welcome and scripture songs.  And then there’s always the weekly lesson plan with details for my singing time.
  • Children’ can’t prefer what they don’t know.  We need to get them familiar with more the songs in The Children’s Songbook.
  • Getting through a song vs. understanding the meaning.  Too many times we as music leaders focus on learning the words and melody as opposed to having children understand the meaning which ultimately leads them to learning the gospel.  Both are important and play a vital role in teaching music.  We shouldn’t overlook either.
  • 1 Corinthians 14:15 states:  :What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.”
  • Don’t just sing the first verses of the birthday songs!  Sister Graham mentioned singing the 2nd verse to Feliz Cumpleaños.  How I tackle this is we sing one verse to the song one month, then the next month, if the song has a 2nd verse, we’ll sing the 2nd verse only that month.
  • Good movement for kids with wiggles is to teach them how to lead.  Show them the “sailboat” pattern for 4/4, the “banana” for 2/2, and the triangle for 3/4.  You can find more information on leading HERE under “Features of the Songbook” (just scroll down a bit).  Give them stick (glow sticks work great – turn out the lights).
  • Use a metronome as an activity – figure out the speeds of various songs.  Teach crescendo and decrescendo as well as other simple musical theory. Teach the FEELING of songs, sing them with expression.  (I think I’m going to do this for He Sent His Son since we already KNOW the song – More to come!)
  •  Ask the children how they FEEL after they sing.  Ask, “Can you hear the sad?” (when there is a minor chord) and “Can you hear the happy?” (when there is a major cord).  A song with this example is Nephi’s Courage.
  • Give children turns to sing the “S’s.”  Get rid of snakes as you put the final touches on songs.
  • When teaching Come Follow Me the kids can trace their own footprints and say how they can follow Jesus Christ.  Then step.  Have Christ at the back of the room and all footsteps will be heading toward Him.  Use the picture “Fishers of men” as an attention getter.
  • The years (current and past) outlines have valuable recourses in them for music.  Find 2014’s “How to Use Music in Primary” HERE.

Others Shared at the Workshop

  • Barbara Gill shared information using handbells, chimes, and drums (made from #10 cans, wallpaper and some plastic tablecloth fabric).
  • Then Jared Day shared his actions for the song Latter-Day Prophets.  This post HERE goes into more detail.

Share What You Learned at Pat Graham's 2015 Singing Time Workshop

If you have notes, pictures or video you’d like to share, either leave them in the comments or contact me using the above!  I’d love to have your added insight!


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3 thoughts on “2015 Pat Graham Workshop – NOTES”

  1. Can I ask what is in the Children's Songbook Companion Art Book? I have the old (green) version of the Children's songbook Companion and like it. Is the Art Book pictures from the Children's Songbook? Or What are the pictures? Sounds like it might be great! Thanks!

    My favorite idea was teaching leading with glow sticks!

    1. Hi Brooke!

      The Artbook has all the artwork and images contained in The Children's Songbook Companion book but they are all enlarged, where in the companion book, they are all really small sizes.

      I hope that answers your question!


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