The Teaching Primary Music Podcast

The Teaching Primary Music Podcast

This podcast is a resource to help primary music leaders; we explore using time-tested activities and the latest developments in neuroscience to create engaging, inspired singing time plans.


April 6, 2023 25 mins

Melanie Hoffman describes her experience writing primary music, with a special emphasis on her song, "Gethsemane."

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Purposeful movement - the opposite of chaotic movement - lays an important foundation not only for the words and message of the song, but also for a surprising number of life skills that children are developing. 

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In this episode, we dive in to how help children internalize the words of a primary song. 

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January 20, 2023 23 mins

There are children in the world who notice colors, shapes, and patterns much more than they notice other things. In this episode, we elaborate on teaching music with visual intrigue and talk about how to reach these children. 

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Sharla's oldest son, Joshua Dance, talks about what it has been like to teach primary music - "doing the thing" for the first time - after years of "knowing the thing."

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Michelle Crawford talks about her experience with leading primary music for five years - her favorite go-to activities, what she would teach new music leaders in order to set them up for success, and what her benchmarks for effectiveness would be. 

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December 23, 2022 17 mins

How do you match activities to the song you are teaching? Selecting appropriate activities that convey the feel and the meaning of the song can be an art form; in this episode, Sharla breaks down how she would choose activities for several songs from the 2023 Come Follow Me Suggested Song List. 

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In this episode, Emily Pitts tenderly describes how using these teaching methods help her reach struggling children in her primary (her stories are told with the permission of those involved). 

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November 19, 2022 9 mins

In this short bonus episode we talk about how to plan out the year and introduce our Song Experience Worksheet and 2023 Singing Time Calendar. 

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Lacy Richards gives us some great ideas for activities that can be used to teach older and younger children together in a combined primary; she especially focuses on things that can make all ages feel successful and loved in primary. 

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November 11, 2022 18 mins

Between the ages of 7 and 8 years old, children are learning to prioritize - they are trying to figure out what is important/cool, and what isn't, and this process takes time. In this episode, we talk about ways to engage 8-11 year olds in ways that are developmentally appropriate and that meet their specific needs. 

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November 4, 2022 19 mins

Our special guest, Annie Salazar, describes her experience and her success using these methods with special needs children. 

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October 30, 2022 18 mins

Ideas for teaching to multiple intelligences for younger children

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October 21, 2022 22 mins

In this episode we discuss "backdoor learning", or how our brain organizes and makes connections without us even realizing it. We also explore Howard Gardner's research on multiple intelligences and how it relates to teaching music. 

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October 14, 2022 15 mins

What are the most basic elements of teaching with this new method? How should a singing time be structured? 

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October 7, 2022 14 mins

We are Courtney Ekman and Sharla Dance, and we are starting this podcast so that we can share tried and true methods for teaching primary music. 

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