Saturday, January 1, 2011

Teaching: If I Listen With My Heart

I am really at a loss about this song. It didn't show up on the church website until a couple of days ago, so I couldn't hear how it went (I don't have a piano). I can't seem to memorize this song for the life of me. I keep singing and singing and nothing is sticking with me, I can't even sing the tune right (with or without the music). I keep looking and thinking and praying for a way to teach it and I get nothing. I feel nothing for this song, but annoyance. Its a nice song, but if I can't sing it without needing words how can I expect my little ones to learn it. Each year I'm the chorister I'm becoming more frustrated with these new songs that feel impossible to have the children learn. My youngest never fully learned "I Know that the Savior Loves Me", the more I tried to help the children learn it the more I felt like it didn't matter because I was never going to have them sing this song ever again once the program was done. I even had many SR primary who couldn't get the song. So as I am trying to learn this song myself I'm a so frustrated I want to just say "forget it, we'll do something else" but that isn't my call to make. I seriously want to cry (and I don't cry). I got nothing!
As for people and ideas from others:
Jolly Jenn has a good flipchat that is about all I have right now. What I will probably end up doing is cutting up her flip chart, putting the pictures for each verse on a poster board and adding a few extra pictures (ie walk, earth, ear-listen/hear, mouth-say/words/speaks, scriptures).
Sofia's on Sofia's Primary Idea's blog has a few ideas about ways to introduce or get the children's attention. I am going to have a head band with hearts to over the ears (I live in Arizona and have never once in my life owned earmuffs), I might let a few different children ware them. Then I plan on having lots of small cut up construction paper hearts and having the children hold them over their hears when we sing the word 'heart'.
None of this do I feel strongly about. In fact there is a part of me that wants to just do something fun, welcome to the Sunbeams and to the New Year tomorrow and talk to our Primary President about my problem with this song and see if we can come up with a compromise. One idea that keeps coming to head is only teaching ONE of the verses to my primary and the chorus, and we'd have small groups of children do the other two verses. But again I have to see how my Primary President feels.

16 comments:

Corrine said...

its 9 pm the night before church and I too am at aloss of how to do this song....I am not a music person and kind of laughed when they called me to this, other than I enjoy doing things and the kids seem to have fun with the activities and seem to learn the songs, but I can't think of anything to do for church tomorrow, neither do I know how to sing this song...I guess we will all be learning it together.

Kerry said...

I felt that way too at first when i listened to the song. I downloaded the version on the church website that is the primary kids singing, and I played it over and over and couldn't make it stick, and didn't really care for it either. I loved last year's song instantly, and not this one so much. BUT then I listened to the version of this song recorded by Allyse Smith Taylor, and it is beautiful! It flowed so much better, and now I love it. I am still figuring out exactly what to do for tomorrow, but I downloaded a video to this recording and am going to show it on the tv first to let them hear it.http://cid-25edee2eac42686f.photos.live.com/self.aspx/If%20I%20Listen%20with%20My%20Heart/If%20I%20Listen%20With%20My%20Heart%20Video.wmv
Good luck!

Brittney said...

I love your honesty! I can't wrap my brain around this one either. I can't believe that I'm more excited about teaching Praise to the Man to 3 year olds than this song!

Good luck (to all of us)!

Amy said...

yes-go to the version by Allyse Smith Taylor on youtube. You will love the song after you hear her sing it!

Susan said...

I hear you! I went to Deseret Book and purchased the CD of singing ideas for 2011. They have a cute flip chart, but I'm burned out on flip charts... I also finally obtained a PDF file download from a blog which I may... or not...make into individual songbooks for this song. But it's a lot of work and ink from my printer.

It's also 9:26 a.m. on Sunday morning, and I'm frantically trying to put this all together by 11:00.

Oh...I also want to weigh in on the fact that I don't like this song, and don't know it either. My poor primary kids.......

Haley said...

I guess I'm in the minority. I love the message that is in this song. I feel that it is very relevant to what the kids need to hear and also goes so well with the song from last year. Although I have had a hard time picking up the tune, I know if I show my excitement for the song and love for the message, that will resonate to the kids that I teach it too. Good Luck!

Catherine said...

I am really surprised that so many people dislike this song! I'm not usually a fan of Primary songs in a minor key, but the message of this one is so good! I taught it to my kids today, and they had no problem picking it right up. I always sing the song through first, so they can hear it, and some even started singing with me the first time.

I'm also surprised you couldn't find it on the website until a couple of days ago, because I downloaded it to make CDs of the program songs for all our Primary kids at least a month ago.

I guess my advice would be to focus on teaching the message of the song. Sometimes we get all wrapped up in trying to make everything fun and creative, and think we have to come up with an original idea every week. We are called to teach the gospel through the songs, using the Holy Spirit. Not to entertain the kids.

Reid Family said...

I after thinking about it for a long time came up with some ideas. My email address is reidesther@googlemail.com. If you email me your email address I would be happy to share some of them.

Megan and Greg said...

Ha, ha. I was googling for ideas on this song and clicked on your blog. I'm sorry you're having a rough time. I felt that way, (and I AM very musical) until I downloaded the song at http://lds.org/cm/display/0,17631,7206-1,00.html and listened to it over and over and over while I did the dishes and cleaned the house. I just put it on repeat. I did one heavy dose of listening and then kept refreshing myself the rest of the week. By Saturday I had it down! Also, remember, you only need to memorize one verse at a time, the kids don't need to learn the whole sha-bang the first sunday. As for teaching, I was feeling a little flustered too and then last night I thought, "What the heck" and googled "how to teach if I listen with my heart" and a great link popped up- http://teachldschildren.com/?p=957 and it had the whole lesson laid out and I completely copied it!!! It had all the pics and words ready to print! I used it today for the first verse and it went really well, even for the jr primary!

As far as TEACHING, it's all about repetition. I literally take 3 words at a time, will sing it alone, then point back and have them sing it back to me. I'll have them repeat a few times 'till they sound strong, then we move on to the next 3 words. Then we start combining, one phrase at a time until we've got the whole song. It seems slow moving, but that's hpw they ;earn it well. Oh yeah, and I often just start with the melody and don't even tell them the words. I start with oo's (the same teaching as before, word by word, phrase by phrase) then la's or buzzing or humming, THEN I teach the words, little by little. Once they have the whole song, you can get creative and have them sing Opera, or with a southern or british accent. If you get really into it, they love it and think it's fun. GOOD LUCK!!! Sorry if that was a lot of info, you just sounded so stressed and I totally get it. These methods have helped me a lot. I got called awhile ago, but I only feel like I'm now getting the hang of it.

Kathryn Crouse said...

I agree fellow arizonan!! I can't make it stick either. I have sung it over and over and over and over!!! But surprisingly today they got it (while i stumbled) LOL!! Hang in there!! I love another fellow chorister's idea of having it be a special musical number. Good luck!

Melissa Ash said...

I am so bad. I totally told the music person to just scratch it and go with Scripture Power. I may have a small group sing it, but that is how I felt about it. I did not love it, did not feel strong, and because our music leader is SO nervous about teaching the kids ANY song, I told her to forget it!! I know, bad! Good luck to you!!

7kidsathome said...

I love these new songs each year! They totally bring the Spirit to the primary. I made signs with "ooo", "ahh", "hmm", "ohh", "la,la,la", and "sing". I also printed the pictures and word pages from the blog of "The Ordinary Adventures of a Primary Chorister" along with downloading a video she has for it. I showed the video and then taught the kids the last line of the song. We only learned those words for the chorus, "And, if I listen with my heart I hear the Savior's voice." Then we went over the song about 4 times and I held up the ooo, ahh, ohh, etc. signs and switched them around every phrase. when we got to the chorus line I held the "sing" sign up. By the end the kids new that line and had the tune learned as well. This week we will focus on the first verse. Break it down and teach them that the first verse is about me, the second about prophets, and the third about the Holy Ghost. The most important part is the chorus line. If they remember nothing else, they will remember that. These songs are prayerfully chosen and with prayer we can teach them to the children.

Mirazz said...

I have been struggling with this song as well!! But last Sunday I taught the 1st verse. It went really well. We talked about different sounds, and then talked about the Saviors voice. I had the children stand up when we sang a word for the Savior (Jesus, him, his, ect.) THe kids loved it, and we were able to sing it over and over. I think they got the 1st verse down pretty good. Tomorrow I'm teaching the 3rd verse. I am going to focus on feeling. I have different objects to bring in for the kids to feel. Then we will talk about how we "feel" the spirit. THen combine the two ideas of sound and feeling to talk about how we listen with our heart we hear the Savior's voice! I hope this helps some. It is a tricky melody, but I didn't learn it until I was teaching it to the kids. THen is clicked and I couldn't get it out of my head!!

Sarah Jayne said...

We feel you! My husband and I are both choristers (together!) and we've been trying to sing it all week to our 3 year old per his request and we've had to open the laptop each time to remember the tune of the song. It is finally coming easier, though.
And to make things worse, we tried teaching the first verse last week and one of the teachers raised his hand and complained about our method of teaching (not enough words!!). That was a blow. So we've totally revamped our teaching method for the song and we're going to focus on teaching the tune of the song tomorrow and then work on the first verse again (with both pictures and words). I'm thinking we'll have the kids hum, oooh, or aahh, as we hold up signs just so they can get the tune down before we work on words.

Hang in there! It's nice reading that we're not the only ones who have a tough time with the new songs.

Tifany said...

I'm a little late in reading this post:) Hopefully you have been able to find something to help teach this song to your primary. I'm fairly new at this calling & I look at tons of others' blogs for ideas. I've also started my own to add to the bajillion out there. Take a gander & see if there's anything there that can help ya.

www.preciousprimary.blogspot.com

Vicky said...

Just so you know it is okay to only do one verse of the song or even to omit it or change it to a different song. In the instruction manual it says you can do this. I think it is even on the Primary Sacrament Program they make each year.