Tuesday, September 22, 2015

3 Ways to Practice Solos in Primary (Without Boring Everyone Else)

I know some Primaries have already had their sacrament meeting programs, but a lot of us are still gearing up for it!  One challenge of preparing is figuring out how to practice solos and small group numbers, since the Outline for Sharing Time cautions leaders, "Practices should not take time away from classes or families unnecessarily."  As much as possible, then, practices should take place during Primary.  Here are 3 methods that I've used this year.

1.  Practice During Prelude

Our ward has six soloists singing verses of "Follow the Prophet" (p.110).  The soloists need a chance to learn their verses, and prelude seemed like the perfect time to me.  For the past couple weeks I've been bringing soloists over by the piano with me to practice.  We kneel down behind the piano, so that no one thinks we're performing, and we quietly sing the solo together, as many times as we need, while we're waiting for opening exercises to start. 

2.  Flashlight Spotlight 

Once your soloists have a basic familiarity with their parts, you'll want the rest of the Primary to hear them, so they'll know what to expect during the presentation of the song.  This is an activity I highlighted in my post a couple weeks ago, here.  Turn off the lights and turn on a flashlight. Only the group of children where you're shining the light should sing. Try moving the light slowly around the room, quickly switching between halves, or trading off between you and all the children.  I have soloists singing the questions in "He Sent His Son" (p.34), so after one sing-through I alter the activity to spotlight the soloists for their assigned lines.

3.  A Chorus of Hand Rhythms

This is a great activity when the full Primary will be singing the chorus of a song. Have the soloist or small group sing at the microphone, reminding the other children to show their friends respect by listening quietly. When the soloist finishes the verse, signal the rest of the children to immediately go into the chorus, and encourage them to follow your hand rhythms. Be sure to keep the pattern simple, since they'll only have a short time to figure it out.

These are some activities I've found helpful. I'd love to hear which ideas have worked for you, too!

Happy singing,

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