Before you can teach a song, you as the leader must know it. Listen to it over and over until you can sing the song spontaneously. As leader, you want to enjoy yourself as enthusiasm spreads! Even if you don’t have musical talent, you can teach a new song!
Provide opportunities for the boys and girls to hear the song before singing. The music can be playing in the background as children arrive, while engaging in craft activities, and also during snack time.
Children learn a song by hearing it many times, as memorization occurs via repetition. Knowing a song by heart, so the melody and lyrics will stay with children forever, is the goal.
Before actually singing the song together, ask questions. Be sure boys and girls know the song’s meaning and also the significance of unfamiliar words.
Perhaps you will enjoy using some of these ideas for helping children learn a new song:
1. A Mr. Echo puppet could be brought out. He sings one line; the pupils echo it.
2. Have the children make sock puppets, paper bag puppets or puppets on a stick. The children learn the words of the song as they have their puppets sing one verse or chorus at a time.
3. Play "Follow the Leader." The leaders sings one line, the children follow.
4. Use key words. Print key words of the song to be learned on slips of paper. Pass these out to the children. As the song is sung, pupils stand as their word is sung. This keeps the boys and girls alert to the words and helps them learn faster.
5. Have children illustrate various key phrases of the song. Photograph and transfer to PowerPoint.
6. Videotape the boys and girls singing. Play it back and let the children sing along.
7. Use the American Sign Language. Go to their user-friendly site which gives easy-to-follow instructions.
8. When the body moves, the brain remembers. Discuss with the boys and girls possible hand motions. Accept all contributions and then come to a consensus as to which ones will be used. Verbs and nouns often spark ideas for gestures.
9. Younger children will enjoy using rhythm instruments which will help them learn the rhythmic phrases of the song.
10. Have the children hum the tune before singing the words. Humming is a great way for learning a tune before memorizing words.
Keep singing new songs on a regular basis so the music will always bounce around in the children‘s heads.
Encourage parents to purchase the CD so the children can listen to the songs other than when at church. All songs by Mary Rice Hopkins can be purchased through her web site: or by calling 818-790-5805.
Be sure parents are aware the same puppets which are seen on “Mary Rice Hopkins & Puppets with A Heart” television program (TBN) can be purchased at Amaze Healing Wings. Children can use their puppets at home when singing.