Teaching a Song to Children:

Children learn to sing a song by hearing it sung. Begin teaching a song by singing it to the children. Involve the children by asking questions about the song that challenge their thinking. A leader should keep two steps in mind when teaching a song to children:

1. Know the song. Before you can teach a song effectively, you must know the song yourself. You can become familiar with the words and melody by playing the song on the piano, listening to a tape recording, or finding someone to sing or play it for you. Study the song and decide what message the words convey. Ask yourself how you might use any scripture references at the end of the song in your preparation or in teaching the song. Look for key words and words that rhyme, as well as for words that the children may not understand or may not know how to pronounce. Notice melody or rhythm patterns that will make the song easier to learn. Practice the song over and over until you know it well.

2. Make a plan. Ask yourself—

a. How can I capture the children's attention? (Perhaps with an object, a picture, a scripture, an experience, or simply a whisper.)

b. What questions can I ask that will encourage the children to listen to the song? (Ask questions that help the children understand the gospel message—for example, What? Where? Who? When? Why?—and state the questions in such a way that children can discover the answer as you sing the song.)

c. How can I encourage the children to sing the song? (Invite the children to sing the phrases that answer the questions. Vary the tempo and the volume to add meaning. Ask the children to listen to their singing without accompaniment. Expect the children to sit tall and to watch you carefully.)d. What testimony can I leave with the children that will strengthen them? (Bear your personal testimony, or read testimonies recorded in the scriptures.)