Friday, April 1, 2016

Featured Chorister: Kori Johnston


Kori is a proud mom of 6 who loves couponing, traveling, singing time, and spending time with her family. She dreams of moving back west...someday.



I love using instruments during singing time to tap out the beat, play along with the rhythm, or just have fun. I’m especially excited when I can make or purchase instruments that don’t cost a lot. When my daughter came home from her music class this past week, she had these homemade clackers/castanets in hand. Immediately, I thought about primary and how those clackers would be perfect for singing time! They were easy and inexpensive to make. Perfect for my large primary and perfect for my pocketbook. 
Making the Clackers
Thankfully, I already had the buttons on hand. (I originally purchased my buttons from Oriental Trading years ago.) Any large button will work. The buttons on my daughter’s clacker are smaller than mine. I purchased 2mm foam sheets and cut each one into 1 x 4 inch strips. Then, I used a hot glue gun to glue a button on each end. So easy!

Demonstrate First
The children were mesmerized when I pulled out a clacker.  I began to click the beat of the song while we all sang. The clackers fit perfectly with the Easter song we were reviewing, “He Died That We Might Live Again” (Children's Songbook pg. 65), but they could be used with any song. The children were using their fingers to click the clacker. 
After singing the song through once, I called up five children who were following along to come up and help me out. I gave them each a clacker, and we sang through the song again. Once again, the others were following along with their pretend clackers. After singing the song with my helpers, I had them help pass out the clackers to everyone in the primary. I noticed that the teachers were eager to have a clacker as well.

Immediate Participation
As soon as they started to pass out the clackers, I started singing and tapping my clacker to the beat, so the children could follow me right away.

Repetition That's Fun
My sunbeams were able to do this activity as well. A few of them needed help from their teachers to get the clacker in the right spot. If a child is having a problem working the clacker, he/she could always tap the clackers together using both hands. I always try out activities at home with my sunbeam (a November birthday) before using them in junior primary to make sure a sunbeam is able to do them. We have a large sunbeam group so I need to make sure activities are going to interest them.

As soon as we finished clicking our clackers to the beat, we tried clicking to the rhythm. This was a bit of a challenge for this younger group. Then, we voted on which one the children preferred. Beat was the most favorite, so we sang one more time with the clackers clicking the beat. 

Our time was short, but in the future I think it would be fun to have the children click the clackers up high and then down low. 

For Senior Primary
The older kids were thrilled with the clackers. We sang with the clackers clicking to the beat and then the rhythm. We ran out of time, but I wanted to let them each have two clackers. I wanted to challenge them with one hand clicking the beat and the other the rhythm. 

The "Freeze!" add-on would also work with these. Periodically, say “Freeze!” and ask a row or child to say the next words in the song. Then, continue singing and clicking along.

I can’t wait to add these instruments to a band rotation!


Have you adopted Kori's idea? What were the results for your primary? :)

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