For those of you who read my blog and don’t know me personally, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (or Mormon). We have “callings” in our Church which is basically a prayerfully inspired job to do. As members of this Church, we all work together to help it run effectively and we do this by working in our various un-paid callings. We do this because we love Jesus Christ, we love each other, and we get blessings in our lives for serving in the Church.
In addition to my Ward Family History Consultant calling, I was just called as the LDS Stake Primary Music Leader in my Orem, Utah Stake. I am so incredibly excited as this is my first Stake Calling. I am a little freaked out as I have always had this mental block about leading music. There’s a hard wire disconnect in the brain/hand area… I have no rhythm (ask my husband!), and my arm waving needs serious work. Alas, another calling to help me grow spiritually as well as temporally and to help me learn a new skill. Horray for getting out of my comfort zone. I do love music and children with all of my heart and hope to convey that love to the people I work with.
The Stake Primary President and I met and I was given a big file box of materials that has VHS (yes, real VHS) tapes and other outdated manuals and teaching supplies from the previous music leader. It was probably handed down to many over the years. My husband and I had a good chuckle about the supplies in the box! I am a TOTAL minimalist, so I took it upon myself to make that box officially outdated and to put all of the resources here in one easy place.
The 5 W’s of the Stake Primary Music Leader
WHO do you report to?
You report to the Stake Primary President. You should be included in the Stake Primary Presidency meeting as needed.
WHAT does the Stake Primary Music Leader Do?
According to LDS.org, the stake music leader:
- Gives instruction at the yearly Primary Leadership training (i.e. you teach a class for the music leaders in the wards at the yearly leadership meeting).
- Gives instruction to ward Primary Presidencies, music leaders, and pianists about the music in their ward.
- Organizes a stake children’s choir. This can be left open to interpretation!
WHERE does the Stake Primary Music Leader serve?
She serves and works closely with the Ward Music Leaders in her stake. This would require visits to see what the wards are doing and how they can be supported. She will help new Ward Music Leaders get started in their callings.
WHEN does she serve?
We have 10 wards in our Stake and I would like to do at least 2 visits to each Primary per year. This would require about 2 visits per month (some months would only require 1 visit). I was thinking it might be nice to attend their yearly Primary Program if possible. Since I will attend my own Ward and the Primaries in our Stake can potentially start at different times, this will require some phone calls and some creative calendaring.
WHY is she doing this?
Good question! She is doing this because she wants to see each Ward Primary Music Program reach it’s potential. She is doing this because she wants to support the Ward Primary Music Leader. She is doing this to help children learn and love music and to increase their faith in the Savior Jesus Christ through song.
“Music can help you draw closer to your
Heavenly Father. It can be used to educate,
edify, inspire, and unite.”
—Thomas S. Monson
Resources for the Stake Primary Music Leader
This (also from LDS.org) lays out the Primary Music Program and is a fantastic resource for teaching you how to teach others in regards to music.
The theme for Primary in 2014 is, “Families are Forever“. We have a lot of material to work with this year and a new song to learn.
Here is a beautiful video of the new song titled, “The Family is of God,” by Matthew Neeley.
Find great ideas for using music in Primary here. Examples: have a child play prelude music on his instrument of choice, have the child echo you, point out when the Holy Ghost is present.
Here’s a conducting course if you are unsure about how to conduct music.
Here are some videos the Church has made about music leadership training.
The following are things I am interested in implementing by inspiration:
- A weekly or monthly children’s choir practice at the Stake Center (maybe giving children a chance to solo or play instruments or even learn sign language) resulting in a performance at the end of the year maybe.
- A photo or video slideshow of the primaries with close ups of the children to be displayed at Stake Conference if they are singing this year.
- A card sent to the Music Leader and the pianist after a visit to compliment them on what they are doing fantastic at.
- Compile a list of things I love from each ward’s Primary Program.