Wednesday, January 14, 2009

To use Words or not to use words?

Some thoughts about Singing Time

Using “words” to teach

In JR primary I have a very few children in JR primary who can read, and they just know the simple words. However, when I don’t use any words I think the littlest children learn the song stronger than when I used words (even just keywords). It seems as though the words are actually inhibiting their long term learning. On the other side of not using any words, the teachers won’t try to learn the song. But when there are words the teachers sing and try to help their children to sing. So which is better? No words, and having long term learning for the children. Or using words and having the teachers help in the learning process. The last consideration is if I don’t use words then I have to need to make more than one visual- one for JR and one for SR.

In SR primary the oldest children can read any word I put up there, but the youngest in SR still have problems with larger words. Here is the advantage of words, not only do the teachers sing the try to learn the songs, but the older children try harder to learn the song also. The older children then sing louder which has been encouraging the younger children to sing.

So in conclusion, which is better? Using words, or not using words? That seems to be the question.


Melissa Stringham said...

Hi - First thanks so much for your blog. I am a new primary song leader with no musical background and am really intimidated by the calling. I found your blog last week when searching for ideas as to how to teach I lived in heaven. I totally copied your idea. I hope you don't mind! Thanks again!
Second to answer your question I would not use words at all for Jr. Primary. When I was teaching primary a few years ago we had an awesome song leader and she would treat the teachers like the children, she'd call on them sometimes in activities and really get them involved so they learned the songs too. I am trying to incorporate that idea now and it seems to work.

Nikki said...

If the teachers know you expect them to sing, they'll sing too. I have always found encouragement in singing if more people were singing with confidence. So as the chorister I make sure I know all the words without the book, and I sing it loud. I rarely have a teacher that doesn't sing. Occasionally a substitute doesn't know the words.

When I am not prepared I have the children repeat the words after me while learning a song. But I rarely actually write the words on the board.

I'm enjoying your site by the way. Keep up the great work!