Sunday, May 01, 2011


A couple of months ago I was called to be one of the Primary choristers for our church's children's group. I opted to do Junior Primary (3-8 year olds) while my friend Karilee continued to do Senior, as she had previously been doing both. Why they have two choristers in unknown- either because our ward is large and in need of a split and thus have to assign made up and unnecessary callings, or because they rightfully doubt my capabilities are my guesses.
I enjoy it, but it is a challenge. Believe it or not, I don't enjoy getting up in front of groups of people- even children. I don't really want to be the center of attention. Rather,  I want to be the center of attention in front of small numbers. I also couldn't remember the last time I had led music- It's never really been required of me. One of the last times my parents came to visit I had my mom- who was the chorister of her own Primary when she was still a child in Primary- give me a crash course relearning how to lead music. I still have a small panic attack whenever I stand up and see some bizarre time signature like 12/8 or something... It also requires a lot of preparation, which I usually enjoy as it involves things like coloring and lamination, but also a lot of time and forethought. Well, this month's song we are to teach is 'Praise to the Man'. A beautiful song, but a little tricky for children. For example, in the first verse alone are the following words: 

For 3-8 year olds, mind you.
So like I said, I love this song, but I was a little intimidated, a little skeptical of teaching it to such small children. And the tune's not so easy either! But then in my research I came across this video, with this version of the song and suddenly I was excited.

I downloaded it and shared it with the kids in Primary, who listened with rapt attention. I was surprised with the reverence they showed while listening when previously they had been a little rambunctious. Afterward I asked them how they felt when they were listening (I only played it to about 3:30) and they said "I felt the Holy Ghost near" and "I felt protected by Jesus Christ". I think this arrangement is so moving and particularly stirring and was moved to tears trying to explain it's meaning and significance to the children.
When I was reviewing it at home I watched it with my girls and explained the scenes to them as we watched. It struck me that I think I feel the Spirit the fastest through music then through any other medium, and that we need more hymns in our home. I have been listening to the Lower Lights a lot, and Bella listens to the Children's Songbook in her room, but we need more. We need more music that will instantly invite the Spirit into our home.
If anyone has any favorites they can suggest, I'm all ears!

I downloaded the song from iTunes, but since discovered that you can apparently download it for free here, although since I haven't tried I can't verify it.


Molly Krauss Smith said...

Thank you for this post. I was really moved. Like you, I think the Spirit speaks to me most through music...

Rob said...

Thank you so much. I was recently called as primary chorister today and wow, I am feeling the weight of all that preparation and teaching responsibility. Please post more of your ideas, I would love the inspiration! _Diedre Gray

Claire said...

Some of Mindy Gledhill's earlier work is absolutely lovely! I listened to her a lot on my mission.

jt said...

Diedre, I have hardly any of my own ideas so far with singing time, but here are a few blogs I have found:

michelle said...

That was beautiful. I'm glad you found a way to teach that challenging song!

I did notice a lot of beards on our earlier prophets, though... maybe we should point that out to BYU?

Rob said...

Thank you so much for those blogs that have helped you. It is great! -Diedre Gray

Jill said...

I can totally see you as the music leader in primary, I'm sure you do a great job!

After serving in primary for 5 years I know how important the music leader is. She can make or break primary for the kids and the teachers (no pressure of course). I always felt the Spirit strongest when we were singing, so I was grateful that our music leader prepared so well and taught the doctrine behind the words. She used a ton of pictures and actions to help the kids remember and even now when we sing "Scripture Power" for FHE we all use the motions we learned from her.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...