09 November 2008

The Joys of Primary Choristing

I have been asking for a children's song book for my birthday and Christmas for several years now, and my whining and complaining finally paid off for my birthday this year. I wanted it not because I particularly enjoy Primary music, but because I get my guitar out about once a year and thought it would be nice to have some readily available easy music. Unfortunately for me someone figured out that the forbidden book is in my possession and when the congregation boundaries changed I was assigned to lead the music for the children at church.

This is somewhat tragic because I have a hard time singing and waving my arm at the same time. Forget smiling and moving around and making my fingers wiggle down in front of me as if it is "Autumntime and the leaves are falling down." Also, I am extremely neurotic about knowing about everything possible in advance, whereas this assignment requires a great deal of flexibility. Now that I have been leading the music for three weeks in a row, I have finally come home without anxiety induced sweat tacos. I feel certain that things will only improve from here.

PS. Do you love horrible photoshopping as much as I do? I love it almost more than I love real shopping. Almost.


Kyle said...

I love the photoshopping haha!

Simply, Sarah said...

You are so wonderful to accept such a calling. I don't know if you know this, but you are a HUGE component of what makes the primary work. No pressure there...Seriously, as long as you share your fun spirit and teach the meanings behind the songs and share your testimony, it doesn't matter how you do your hands or if you're on key. The children will feel it and they will learn and be strengthened.
sorry for the runon sentences.

All choristers do it their own way, but when we got our current one, the Spirit in our Primary greatly increased. Good luck with the calling!

p.s. Have you heard the song, "Gethsemane," by Melanie and Roger Hoffman?

Nick and Heidi said...

You are not the only one. I too am back being the Primary Chorister in our newly changed ward. I was Chorister for about 3 years, but that was 6 years ago. So I am trying to get in the groove again. One of the must haves of the job is the thick green book called the Companion to the Children's Songbook. It tells you how to teach every song in the book. That will at least give you ideas and the know how until you get really comfortable with things. You'll be great! Any questions just holler.

The Rookie said...

Photoshopping is fabulous. "Sweat tacos" always makes me laugh. And I'm quite sure I would be the world's worst primary chorister. I'm just no good with a large group of little kids. Or, rather, I'm not good with a large group of kids whilst their primary teachers and the presidency look on. It is hard to be zany and entertaining with kids with an adult in the room together.

Good luck!

Hey It's Di said...

I was the sub one week in primary for the chorister and I nearly peed my pants in fright! I thought it would be easy life waving my arm around in Relief Society but NOOOO. I have a hard time being animated & singing also.

Sweat tacos sound yucky!

Jillybean said...

Perhaps you could have the children sing "Once there was a snowman" while photoshopping their faces onto a picture of a snowman.

Our Chorister always brings candy.

Lots of it.

It's amazing how well children will pay attention when there is chocolate involved.
It's amazing how well I pay attention when chocolate is involved.

Sweat tacos.
Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha HA HA HA!!!!

Angie Lewis said...

All I can say is "Good luck!" I think I might have more than sweat tacos...I hate leading the music in anything, much less in primary (I'm probably cursing myself right now - as I am currently callingless...).

angela michelle said...

we just had our program today, and our chorister whispered to me on the stand that she was worried because the dress she was wearing shows sweat tacos. ha ha

I agree it's such an important calling. And hard! All the energy and enthusiasm and flexibility! I bet you'll grow into it and come to really love it.

My favorite is when the chorister teaches the children what the message of the song means to her.

Amy said...

I would rather be in your spot leading than in my spot behind the piano. The chorister in my ward teaches piano lessons, and I have worked with teaching children in my elementary school experience so we are scratching our heads as to why we were given our callings. I think the bishopbric may have made a mistake, but were too embarassed to admit it. You have to be able to laugh at yourself and just sing your heart out. My aunt has a terrible voice, but that is her favorite calling because kids don't care! (Try not to think about the other adults in the room.)

The Lemmon's said...

I have been "enjoying" this calling for about a year and a half now, and I wouldn't trade it for any other! I'll send you a few websites I've found. I can picture you being a perfect person to lead the children, keep their attention and build their testimonies -- you'll do great!!!

Lori said...

I love your face in the picture the best because it is so true! Sometime you want to stick your tongue out at the kids, and scream and yell, and throw things at them. Then there are the times that you have to try not to laugh at them. I can hide behind the piano when that happens since I'm the primary pianist.
You'll figure out how to do things your way and have fun. Then they will release you and call you to something else. Maybe that can be motivation to get it figured out sooner! If you ever need to bounce some ideas around, let me know.

Kevin M. said...

That picture is terrible.

So, if choiristers choirise, what do organists do? Do clerks clerkerize and Bishops Bishopize? Sounds like a good excuse to create a new book with the help of Dr. Suess.

Dansie Family said...

fun, sort of. i'm sure you are great.

betsey said...

When I was the primary chorister, I used to cry listening to those kids sing. Not cause they were bad, because they were so amazing and gave me such joy and hope. It is a great calling that helps the children learn so much and feel the Spirit so strongly. I don't mean to be overly sentimental here, but I have to say that it was one of my favorite/most spiritual callings.

Cheesy, I know.

Anonymous said...

Oh I DO love bad photoshopping, I do I DO.

I also LOVED listening to the kids sing when I was Prim. Secretary. And I also loved watching the choristers mess up (forget which verse they were one, forget the words, hold up the wrong picture,) which was pretty much all the time. I was glad it wasn't me up there getting it all wrong.

Heidi said...


Just so you know, if you do an even competent job, you'll be stuck there for years.

It's my VERY FAVORITE CALLING EVER! Because those kids have to listen to me. My own captive audience.

Ginnie said...

I'm most definitely a fan of horrible photoshopping, LOL!

PS- Thanks for your sweet comment :)

Brittany said...

I share this calling and unfortunatly (because I'm sure it is a sin), I share your anxiety over it. We just did our Primary Program today where the parents get to coo over their kids cute singing and bashing their heads against the walls and picking their noses on stage while gazing off into the world beyond. I suppose it went alright. Good luck is all I can say. It must be the most taxing calling in the church.