REMEMBER THE RULE OF 7 — children need to hear the song up to seven times before they even feel comfortable participating in singing. And learning a song means MEMORIZING. THAT ONLY HAPPENS THROUGH a lot of REPETITION.
1. OPENER: Asking this particular question: “Who knows what song we sang last week?” Then the Song Leader gazes around the room into blank stares from the few children who are paying attention. (Most are not.) Let’s face it, nobody remembers, not even the adults. And it wastes a lot of time when the Song Leader waits for an answer. (Besides, you should be singing more than one song each week!)
Better to open by saying something like: “We were working on _________ last week and I wonder if I sang part of a line, could you sing the rest?” Then proceed to jog their memories right away with a quick lyric and melody review by singing back and forth.
Better to limit the pictures and storytelling to small doses that can be told quickly in between singing the song phrases or verses. Point out how these lyrics point back to the Old Testament story of ______. Briefly mention a few things to help focus attention on the meaning of the lyrics, guide the children's listening to how to sing properly, or challenge them to commit to memory a portion of the song. But never go more than a FEW SECONDS before singing again. The goal should be to SING each song several times through.
Better to have many activities for helpers that give opportunities for everyone present that day. Limit the solo helpers to just a few. Then have activities that small groups can do such as waving scarves then passing them on to another group quickly until everyone gets a turn. This kind of activity is useful to hit the goal of singing a song through several times towards memorization.