Bringing the Arts Home

I contributed to the Matt Townsend show on BYU radio about how the arts enrich home life. I give research about how the arts make your child smarts and practical ideas for creativity in the home.

Lesson #39 Music Makes Me Happy

***Note: Please read the post called “10 Lesson Helps” found under “Primary Lesson Listings” before reviewing any of my Sunbeam lesson plan ideas.

“Little children enjoy poems and songs with simple actions… often referred to as activity verses. You can use activity verses to help children learn gospel principles. You can also use them to help children feel welcome at the beginning of class, get ready to pray, or prepare to participate in a lesson. It is helpful to have several activity verses ready to use whenever you see a need to change the pace of a lesson or include the children in an activity” (Teaching, No Greater Call, p. 159).

Materials needed: Pictures 1-68, 1-69, a thin blanket (like fleece), snack for each child, a CD player and CDs of the Children’s Songbook and Primary 1,a pole with a string tied on the end and a magnet on the end of the string, paper fish with a paper clip on each and names of favorite songs ( “Once There Was a Snowman,” “Jesus Wants Me For a Sunbeam,” “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” “Popcorn Popping, etc.) written on them.

Put a blanket on the floor and invite the children to sit down. Pass out snacks and sing activity songs while they eat such as:

“Five Green and Speckled Frogs”

“The Wheels on the Bus”

(If you have access to any of these in a picture book, use them as well)

I’m so happy when I sing. I saw that while you were singing, you had a smile on your face. How do those songs make you feel? Music makes me happy.

Sing various verses to:”If You’re Happy and You Know It” (Children’s Songbook, p. 266).

Invite children to sit back in their chairs. We sing songs in sacrament meeting to help us feel reverent when we take the sacrament. It helps us think of Jesus.  Have you ever noticed the lady (or man) who leads the music when we all sing in sacrament meeting? How would you like to pretend to be the chorister and lead the music? Have the children stand up and wave their arm while you all singing a reverence song they have learned in Primary.

The people in the scriptures loved music too. It helped them feel good inside. Show 1-68 David playing a harp for King Saul to make him feel better. Talk about how Saul was feeling sad and worried inside and that David’s beautiful singing and playing the harp helped him feel peaceful again.

Here is another picture (1-69). The Jaredites went across the ocean in barges, and it was a little scary inside. It was dark except for a light at the two ends of the boat, and there were very big waves that tossed them around. They sometimes went down deep under the surface of the water where there were sharks, fish and whales. But Heavenly Father protected them and they sang songs to be happy.

Are you ever frightened by the dark or by something that worries you? Maybe when you go to bed at night, you may feel a little scared. You can sing in the dark when you are scared and need to feel happy again. You can sing anytime, anywhere if you want to feel better. The Holy Ghost can help you feel happy when you sing a song and you are afraid and alone.

Pretend to be on a barge. Set up seats in rows for the children and turn off the light. Turn on a well-known Primary song on the CD for the children to sing to (we chose “I Am a Child of God”). While they are singing, flap the blanket up and down around the outside of the “barge” to simulate “waves.”

Did the waves bother you? How did you feel when you sang that song? You can sing that song whenever you need to feel peaceful inside. Share a time when music calmed you when you were scared/worried/sad.

Do the musical expression from the Primary 1 CD: Section 2 “Musical Awareness.”

Have the children sit back in their chairs. Tell them you are going to see how well they remembered the people we talked about in the scriptures that liked music. Show the David and Jaredite pictures and ask the children about each. What are the names? What are they doing? Why are they singing? Prompt the children if they need help remembering.

We are going to pretend to be the Jaredites again. Instead of being on a boat, we are going to go fishing in the ocean. 

Play with fishing pole and fish with songs on them. As each child “catches” a fish with the magnet on the pole, you read the name of the song written on it and all sing it.

Express your testimony of music in your life.