Camille’s Primary Ideas Meets Sharla Dance


I recently attended a Sharla Dance workshop in Payson, Utah!  It did not disappoint!  I learned so much and left feeling like I need to re-vamp my entire approach to singing time!  Okay, not completely, but she had some amazing ideas that I hope to improve on and implement!

Camille's Primary Ideas Meets Sharla Dance

I was totally star-struck!  I mean, not only did I get to take a picture with a singing time super star, I learned SO much from her!  She graciously shares her wealth of knowledge on teaching music to children!

If you don’t know who Sharla Dance is you should!  And do it quick!    She is mostly famous for her workshops held all over the country.  Her singing time methods engage children in music through a variety of movement activities.

Activities that involve following patterns using ribbon wands, melody maps and TONS more!  In fact, it was paper plates that first piqued my interest in Sharla Dance.  I came across this YouTube video where she used paper plates to create a rhythm pattern:

In addition to workshops, she has a website To Teach a Child to Song and a book appropriately titled To Teach a Child a Song.  I’m in the middle of reading it and have learned so much already!

Here are just a few of my take-aways from the workshop:

Children learn best when they are:

  1. Personally engaged
  2. Have movement
  3. Hear the entire song

Input before output.  Meaning, children will take in everything they are learning before they are willing/able to regurgitate it back.  Just because they aren’t singing doesn’t mean they aren’t learning.

[Singing time] is not about the program, it’s about the children.

Variety & repetition is key.  Change the pace or focus every 4-5 minutes.

The brain needs contrast (from style of songs to type of activities) to learn best.

Don’t try to teach every part of the song in one session.

Are the children intrigued?  Are they engaged? Do they feel a sense of play (not entertainment)? Can they feel your testimony?

View all of her slides from the workshop HERE.

Camille's Primary Ideas Meets Sharla Dance

You can also view her entire workshop recording here (unfortunately it’s not available anymore but you can purchase it HERE from Sharla’s website!):

Facebook Group

Did you know that there is a Facebook group entitled Sharla Dance Teaching MethodsI didn’t until I attended the workshop!  Sharla Dance did not create the group (although she definitely is a member of it!).  It’s meant to take Sharla Dance’s methods and implement them into singing time in a variety of ways.

I’m excited to be sharing next year a few changes I plan on implementing with my singing time schedule because of Sharla’s ideas and workshop!  Find more details HERE.

Camille's Primary Ideas: 5-minute Song singing time ideas

I also hope to share when and where Sharla’s upcoming workshops are so more of you can attend!

If you want to see how I’ve implemented Sharla Dance methods in my singing time lesson plans, scroll through my posts HERE.

Camille's Primary Ideas Did You Think To Pray Singing Time Lesson Plan

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4 thoughts on “Camille’s Primary Ideas Meets Sharla Dance”

  1. Mary Ann Ackerman

    I just love all I have already learned from both you and Sharla Dance! 🙂 I love that you two got together! Thanks for all the good you are doing.

  2. Hey Camille!
    I’ve been side-by-side with you for 3 years now! I’ll be honest. This made me nervous. I’ve looked through everything Sis Dance has, and it just makes sense. I always felt that no matter what I did, I didn’t have everyone engaged during singing time. I am so excited to get started. Thank you for your time and talents, and for providing us such a great resource.

    1. Hi Brittany!

      You and me both. I love Sharla Dance’s methods but I’ve just had a hard time figuring out how to implement them. But I’ve been trying it out in my own primary for the last few months and it’s been great! Thanks for your kind comment too as well!!


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