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NEW CHORISTERS

Welcome to Your New Calling!

If you are new to this calling and searching for any help you can find to get started, you’ve come to the right place!

For starters, make sure you keep this quote by Elder Bednar in mind:

Never doubt your ability to contribute. A call to leadership is a call to display our weaknesses in public. We increase the faith of others as they see us change and grow.

Elder Bednar

My main goal with this blog is to post weekly lesson plans so other music leaders can simply implement them into their own primaries.  Join my email list to get my upcoming monthly agendas (aka “Singing Time Schedules”) and other random items that may pop up with this calling!

You can also follow me on Pinterest and Instagram and subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Alright, now click thru the tabs below to find simple tips, advice and information for your new calling:
  • Your 1st week
  • Planning and scheduling
  • Trusted Resources
  • Suggested Props
  • Staying Organized
  • Great articles
  • Other helpful websites

Here is a great lesson idea for your first week: Here We Are Together

How to do it all??

It’s always a battle finding time to “do it all” in singing time.  It can be a serious juggling act.  There’s always the monthly program song to teach.  But only learning and singing one song a month can be very monotonous for both you and the kids.  And once taught,

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Finding Time

When to prepare for your weekly singing time…isn’t that the weekly question you often ask yourself? If you wait until the last minute to prepare you may find yourself hating your calling and your weekend!! You’ll also find that your primary kids may not be too happy as they usually

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HOW To Teach A Primary Song

I have simple steps for how to effectively teach a primary song during your singing time lesson plan!  This is probably the most common question asked by primary music leaders!  I had a reader contact me with the following question and wanted to share my response just in case it

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Primary Music Leader Substitute

Occasionally, we have to miss singing time due to family functions, vacation plans, illness, emergencies, the list goes on.  So what do you do when you are in need of a sub, either last minute or something that has been planned out well in advance? Well, you get one, of

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Singing Time in Nursery

UPDATE:  I’m now selling these Music Bag Starter Kits in my shop!  (includes almost everything you’ll find below but better!). Check out details HERE. There are 14 songs that we sing in our Nursery (but scroll down to the bottom where I have BONUS songs listed too!). We do them

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Wiggle Worm Jar

I don’t know about you, but 20 minutes working on ONE song can occasionally get long and boring. Especially for those little ones who just came from sitting in Sacrament meeting! To break up the time and get our wiggles out, I pull out my wiggle worm jar every week…

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Using Handbells in Primary

I’m a HUGE advocate of using handbells in primary during singing time!  They provide tons of movement, repetition and FUN when singing and reviewing primary songs!  There are several types, qualities and companies that sell handbells and here’s what I use and HIGHLY recommend getting for your primary! There’s a

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Choosing Sticks

In a previous ward, I loved our choosing sticks…as opposed to my current ward.  So I decided to make some.  And since it’s January, I thought it was perfect timing…They are super simple and pretty self explanatory.  I wasn’t very particular if they were painted evenly so it took me

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Article of Faith Song Prompts

Each week in primary, before I delve into my primary lesson plan, I spend a few minutes singing a scripture song. When we study Doctrine & Covenants with the new Come Follow Me curriculum, we’ll work on the Articles of Faith songs.  You can see what I’ve done for the New

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Article of Faith Punch Card

 I found these DARLING Article of Faith punch cards HERE. That whole website is FABULOUS.  I spent an evening browsing her work!  Love it. But when I went to print them, the file was way to small.  So I recreated them!  Download mine using the access button at the bottom of

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Chalkboard Review

I’m returning from a 2-week vacation with my family…so, needless to say, this Sunday is going to be VERY low-key!  But don’t get me wrong, low-key doesn’t mean low-fun or low-level of learning!  I’m just going to be utilizing the good ol’ chalkboard and play Pictionary!  Find details for it

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Ribbon Wands

One of my absolute favorite props for singing time are ribbon wands! I use them in several lesson plans through the year (find all my lesson plans using wands HERE) and in nursery (details on music in nursery HERE).  The ones I have pictured are from a company that is no longer

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2019 Primary Music CD

  Every year for Christmas, our primary hands out a primary music CD as our Christmas gift.  In year’s past, it has contained all of next year’s program songs plus an extra 2 songs for each month (36 songs total – 3 songs per month).  With the new 2019 curriculum,

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Printer for Singing Time

I finally got a new PRINTER!  I’m pretty stoked about it (this excitement over a printer is adulting at it’s finest, folks!).  But my main reason for sharing (even though I really do love this new machine and want to shout it from the rooftops) is I know the question

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Staying Organized, Part 1 – Singing Time Schedule

I keep myself organized in primary with my singing time schedule.  It’s very simple but works for me, any substitutes, my pianist and those conducting Primary. First up is my “Singing Time Schedule.”  The last 5 minutes of our transition time will incorporate singing.  It doesn’t take 10 minutes for

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Staying Organized, Part 2 – Singing Time Binder

As promised (and I know everyone’s totally excited, right?), here’s how I keep myself together for singing time in Primary….my Singing Time Binder. I’d be lost without it. It’s funny though because it’s not very full and it’s not huge (it’s the 1/2 inch size). It contains only the essentials. The

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Staying Organized, Part 3 – Monthly Scheduling

I thought I’d focus my Staying Organized series on how I schedule my weekly singing times. Someone asked this question on Yahoo Groups so I thought I’d share what I like to do. Obviously I use the songs scheduled in the outline as my guide but I feel there is

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Staying Organized, Part 4 – Filing

It’s been a while since I added anything to my “Staying Organized” Series.  You can find the other posts in this series by going HERE (Part 1 – Singing Time Schedule), HERE (Part 2 – Binder) and HERE (Part 3 – Scheduling). Back in February, reader Ben commented and said:  “…I like your

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Staying Organized, Part 5 – Laminators

Since I have no lesson plan to prepare this week, I thought I’d pass along some information about the type of equipment & supplies I always keep on hand in order to prepare my weekly lessons.  You can assume the obvious – computer, printer, paper, Internet, etc.  But I get

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Staying Organized, Part 6 – Magnets!

There was a discussion on the Facebook Chorister’s group about magnets!  Kind of crazy the topics that come up, but it was a GREAT discussion on magnets!  If you missed it, do a quick search for “magnets” on the group!  Anyway, I wanted to share my two bits about my

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Staying Organized – Part 7, When Teaching

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I stumble into Primary a tad late (ya know – me getting my 5 little kids ready for church alone while the hubby has early morning meetings and we have primary FIRST!).  Sometimes the primary counselor is just handing the time over to

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Tips for navigating my site

At the top of my website are several “tabs” I’ve created (that apparently you have found if you are reading this!) that I feel will be the most beneficial to you.  Here are a few more details about those tabs:

New Choristers:  Where you are now!

SHOP: If I’m being biased, this is my favorite.  Find out where I purchase the supplies I recommend and use most with my lesson plans.

Index tab: This will help you navigate through my website.  Use the drop-down!

  • Posting Words: This is a tool I use that saves me from singing solos and gets more kids and teachers singing
  • Review Activities: This is a list of my go-to activities to review any songs(s)
  • Lesson Plans: Easily find what I have posted over the years throughout my blog all organized by song titles and categories.

Take a look around!  If I can be of further assistance, contact me thru the  “Contact” link above (hover over the “About” tab to see it) or by leaving a comment anywhere, anytime and I’ll respond as soon as I can.  Hopefully there’s something here that can help with your awesome calling!

Make singing time easy!

Follow my monthly schedule!

It is simple, but it works! Keep yourself, your pianist, any substitutes and those conducting primary on the same page.

Camille's Primary Ideas: Monthly Singing Time Schedule

9 thoughts on “New Choristers”

  1. Avatar

    Thank you so much for all of the great ideas!

    Moved to the branch in August, was called in January and had no idea what songs the kids knew. I was out of town one Sunday, and the President (who had been called two weeks before) did the most amazing thing for me. She did a "Name That Tune" activity, which was something I hadn't even thought of before. Then she made a copy of the index of the Primary songbook and highlighted the ones they recognized. It made choosing songs soooo much easier! Then I came home and made a playlist on the LDS Music app so I could learn them, too, since I hadn't been around Primary kids since I was one in 1997. I also got the older kids to start singing more by telling them that hearing them sing would help me learn the songs. (I think the tears streaming down my face the first time I did Singing Time backed up my story and earned their pity!)
    I also remember being grateful from the first week that the most important part of the calling is the easiest: loving the kids!

  2. Avatar

    Hi there Camille! I am a mother of a 3yr old, a 1yr old, just found out I am pregnant and have a husband in medical school :):):) Ive really enjoyed your website it has been a huge help for me so far! I was called to be primary chorister about a month ago and we have our program on October 21st. I LOVE music but have know idea how to be anytime of chorister or music director. I never met the last chorister nor do I have much of an idea of what songs to practice most. Some kids know some songs and some know others… Ive been doing some of your review activities to get an idea of what they know. I printed out the treasure map because I really want to make reviewing fun for then but I don't really have any thing from past lessons to make teaching the song easy. I've made the chewing sticks, Ive been posting the lyrics to all the songs I was thinking I would do the treasure chest with the ring pops and ribbon, I printed out the pictures from the finch family for a child's prayer and I think the sign language for when I am baptized is easy enough that maybe I could teach them that but if I do that I don't know how it will go along with the treasure map… Im just starting to get very overwhelmed and was hoping you might have suggestions for me!
    Thank-you so much for anything and everything! It is amazing that you put all of this out there and help so many people!
    Lacee

  3. Avatar

    Hi Lacee!

    Thank you for your comment! Don't worry, we've all been in your shoes! The first 3 months at anything new are always the hardest. My first thought when reading your comment was you need to simplify. This is where I like to start when I feel overwhelmed about anything – I like to ask myself, "what can I cut out?" (and this pertains to life in addition to singing time for me!).

    Since you are coming into the program late in the game, you'll need to let a lot slide this year! Just work on singing the songs each week and figuring out what they do know. Since you've got the Treasure Map theme going, I'd just stay with that and call it good. You can use it up until your program in October.

    I personally would not add anything new at this point (including sign language). If you need to scrap songs or even just 2nd and 3rd verses, do it. If you feel ambitious, try farming out a few songs to Activity Day girls and boys, or have teachers sing one of the songs, child or adult solos, etc. Just get creative.

    You can make up for it all next year when you get to start with a clean slate in January and you have 10 months to prep for the program instead of less than 2 months. And remember, family comes before your calling. You have a lot on your plate so if you continue to feel overwhelmed, talk to your bishop about finding a less demanding calling until things in your personal life settle down. I've done it before and it was the best thing for me at the time.

    Anyway, just my 2 cents…hope it helps! Good luck!!

    ~Camille

  4. Avatar

    Thankyou so so much Camille! I feel like i just needed to hear that it was ok not to do everything so extravagent from someone like you who is a chorister with so much experience. Thank you again soooo much for taking the time to write me back!
    Lacee

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