Sunday, December 20, 2015

2015 Christmas Songs

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!


CHRISTMAS IS COMING!!! Now, what shall we sing?

I wanted to do a medley of Christmas songs for Sacrament meeting. I did only a little bit of research when I came upon "Christmas Medley". It combines "When Joseph Went to Bethlehem," "Away in a Manger" (Children's Songbook version), and "Silent Night."

But, wait for it...

I TAUGHT THE KIDS TO SING TWO-PART HARMONY.

Oooooohhhhhhh, yeahhhhhhh. And it was awesome. Let me explain.

I used the flipbook method to teach "When Joseph Went to Bethlehem." I printed these pictures (thank you to OCD Primary Chorister) and inserted them into plastic sleeves in a soft 3-ring binder. I wrote the words of the verses on the backs of the pictures so I wouldn't get the words wrong. I discussed each picture with the Primary kids, and sometimes offered hand motions for easier memory recall.

It's almost an immediate transition to "Away in a Manger," so I put the flipbook down, and we prepare for the chorus. The kids pretty much already knew the words to the first verse, so we didn't have to go over it a lot. I had girls sing the upper melody and the boys sing the lower melody for the "asleep" parts, but we switched to junior primary singing the soprano line and senior primary singing the alto line for "asleep the Savior in a stall" and "asleep the Lord of all." It was pretty easy for me to teach the alto part because, well, I'm already an alto. And it turned out beautifully.

Then, as the piano plays the introduction to "Silent Night," I hold my finger up to my lips as if to shush the children. Instead, I used it to remind them of this last song in the medley. The only change in this version of the song is at the end when the children repeat "Sleep in heavenly peace" with a higher ending. I taught the primary to follow my hands, and I used hand motions as a rough music scale in the air. It helped them to visually see the next note as higher or lower than the note they were singing, and also how much of a jump higher or lower it went.

I'm so glad we sang this medley, but I'm super grateful to the arranger of this medley: Judy Checketts Hatch. THANK YOU!!!

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