Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Sing a Story: An After-Conference Activity

   When I first participated in this activity in a Primary music workshop by Sharla Dance, I knew I had to provide the opportunity to my Primary children.   I don't use this activity often, so that it doesn't become commonplace, but each time I've presented Sing a Story, I've felt the Spirit intensely.  

How to Sing a Story

The idea is simple:  you tell a story that demonstrates the principle found in your song, and you intersperse lines of that song, singing a cappella by yourself.  The result is an opportunity for the Holy Ghost to powerfully testify of that principle's truthfulness. Once, I sang "I Stand All Amazed" (Hymns #193) with the story of a boy whose dad was in jail, learning about God's love.  Another time, I sang "Help Me, Dear Father" (p.99) about my own experience learning how to forgive my dad after I was angry with him.  

The week after General Conference, I love to sing the President Monson verse of "Follow the Prophet" (p.110) and tell the story of a boy wanting to follow Pres. Monson but not knowing how at first.  As part of this story, I'll include some of the direct invitations that Pres. Monson extended during this General Conference.  Here's how it might start when you put it together (talking in regular type, singing in italics):

Choosing a word strip for Sing a Story.
Something to 'ponderize'?

One Example

Connor bounced down onto the couch, hugging a pillow.  "Make sure you have a good spot," Mom said.  "General Conference is about to start!" --Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to return-- Connor's parents had taught him that Heavenly Father gave us General Conference so we could hear the words of the prophetbut it was hard to listen for so long and figure out what the prophet was actually asking him to do! --He blesses us with prophets who help us to learn.--Luckily, his mom had an idea that really helped him figure out how to follow the prophet. They listened especially closely to Pres. Monson's talks, taking notes on the things he asked everyone to do.--President Monson humbly leads God's church today--After Conference, they typed up his words, put them in a jar, and read them as a family.--As we heed his words we'll walk a righteous way.--Here's one thing Connor heard Pres. Monson ask everyone to do:  [Pull a strip of paper out of a jar and read:] "Let us speak to others with love and respect, ever keeping our language clean."--Follow the prophet--etc...

When I tell the story with an animated voice, the kids are drawn in. I admit that I have to practice a lot, in order to tell the story without looking at any notes!  When I've prepared well, and when I've prayed for help to present the story in the best way, it is always a beautiful experience. 

Happy singing!

1 comment:

  1. If your primary is small enough, it can be doubly powerful to pick an experience from one or more of your primary kids' own lives. I can think of no more direct way to drive the message home to them than laying out how they are already following the prophet.