Reverence with Adults in Singing Time


Do you struggle to maintain reverence with adults in singing time?  If so, these simple methods to make sure the adults in Primary are just as reverent and engaged as the Primary kids are for you!

I know from personal experience that this can be really frustrating!  And use most of the ideas listed below to help me ensure Primary teachers and leaders are helpful rather than a distraction. 

Camille's Primary Ideas: Reverence with Adults in Singing Time

We’ve all been there.  You are teaching singing time and the Primary presidency is quietly having a discussion in the front of the room. Or the teacher is scrolling on their phone, clearly not participating.

It’s so frustrating to teach singing time when the adults not only offer no support, but add to the mayhem!

We as adults sometimes think the rules don’t apply to us.  And that simply isn’t the case.

How to Maintain Reverence with Adults

Check out this list of ideas for maintaining reverence with adults.  Click on these links to quickly jump to that section:

  1. Start singing time with silence
  2. Post the words
  3. Have them participate
  4. Give them an assignment
  5. Talk to your leaders

This issue is also often discussed on the Primary Music Leader’s FB group and here that resulted in some great ideas too:

Reverence in Singing Time

Let’s make sure we understand what reverence is:

  1. Engaging with the activity or lesson
  2. Speaking when called upon
  3. Listening and being present

Reverence is not:

  1. Quietly sitting with a distraction (phone, paper, etc.)
  2. Conversing quietly with a neighbor
  3. Not listening and not being present


Singing starts with silence. Keep waiting until it’s completely quiet. The kids will be the first to point out if adults are still talking!

Ask the adults for help

1. Start Singing Time with Silence

If the entire Primary is chatting when you begin singing time, offer to wait until everyone is quiet.  Gradually the chatting will subside. 

The Primary children will be the first to point out if adults are still talking!  So make the kids be the bad guy – they LOVE to point out when adults aren’t following the rules!

2. Post theWords

Camille's Primary Ideas: posting words for singing time, singing time flip charts

Post the words to EVERY song you sing!  Most teachers don’t know the words and memorizing is harder for them than it is for children.  They are more than willing to sing if you give them a little boost by posting the words!

An added bonus by posting the words is teachers are less likely to pull out their phones to find the words.  Less phones in singing time is always a bonus!

3. Have them Participate

If you involve the teachers, they are less likely to not be reverent.  There are several ways to have them participate:

  1. Choose the best singer to do the next activity
  2. Judge the quality of the singing
  3. Compete against the children in a game (teachers vs. children)
  4. Assist you with passing out and collecting supplies
  5. Ask them to sing with you

How else do you involve your teachers and Primary leaders with singing time?

4. Give Them an Assignment

It is really hard to teach while trying to maintain reverence with the Primary.  So give the responsibility of maintaining reverence to the other adults in the room.

If you have a particular child who insists on not sitting in their chair, ask a Primary presidency member or teacher to go sit with them.  This way you can continue on with your lesson.

Also, simply asking Primary leaders to sing with you is such a huge help!  Whenever I introduce a new song, I ALWAYS ask the Primary leaders to sing the song with me while the children are engaged in a listening activity.

5. Talk To Your Leaders

Those who are not being reverent are quite possibly not even aware that they are causing harm.  It never hurts to simply talk directly to the source.  Just remember kindness is always key!

Politely ask them to step out into the hall if they need to continue their conversation.  But if you aren’t comfortable directly approaching them, talk to your Primary presidency, bishopric and/or stake Primary presidency.  They are all available to help you! 

More Reverence Singing Time Ideas

Camille's Primary Ideas: Time to Be Reverent action poem singing time ideas

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