It was my turn to teach Children’s Church this week, which I’ve only done once before. While looking for an object lesson, I remembered a method that a former Children’s Church teacher of mine had used to help the class memorize a Bible verse. So I decided to try it with our class. Here’s what you do:
Write the memory verse out on a dry erase board. Have the class read it several times. It helps if you use a sing-song voice because they get the rhythms in their heads. Then, once they know a few key words (like nouns or verbs), erase them two or three at a time. Keep going until you have erased the whole board. The kids really like this activity because it challenges them! I only had three boys in my class at the time, and they were competing with each other to say the words first.
It went over so well, that I thought I would use the same technique at home to help Ian begin to memorize verses on his own. At first, I contemplated purchasing a white board, but I really couldn’t justify the five dollars. So I took a notebook that I already had laying around and taped an envelope into the front cover. I wrote out this week’s memory verse, only three words per line, spacing them out so they were on the left hand, in the middle, and on the right hand of the page. I also skipped every other line. After that, I cut out a bunch of pieces from cardstock that would be large enough to cover any word that could be written in a space but not large enough to overlap the other words.
Now, he has the ability to recreate Sunday’s activity with any verse he wants! I am going to dedicate the entire notebook to memory verses, and have him review them occasionally. What do you think?
Well, I have been writing my piano curriculum, but not in any particular order. I went through Psalms the other night, and arranged eight or ten verses to rhythms. Yesterday, I went through my favorites and put them to music.
When I eventually complete the curriculum, I’d like to dedicate several pages to just middle C and D in the treble clef, followed by middle C and B in the bass clef. I’m going to be sure that they are actually learning to read the notes, instead of finger numbers. In fact, I don’t intend to include finger numbers at all until the music gets more complicated – not even initial fingering because I’m going to have them play the two- and three-note songs beginning with different fingers. I am really tired of having kids get stuck in hand positions.
When I say that I’m going in no particular order, I mean that I am choosing a Bible verse and deciding whether it would sound okay with just two melody notes, or whether it needs three, four, or five. Then I arrange the song the way I like. I’m really lacking two-note songs, but I will find some eventually.
Anyway, it occurred to me that these songs would also be good for voice students who have a limited vocal range of a fifth or so. I have six songs so far; here are the two that I like best: one for voice (although I also made the simplified right-hand only arrangement for piano students) and one for piano. (The piano one can also be sung as a round, so it will work for voice students too, especially with groups of siblings or friends.)
I own a copy of Finale from my university days, but my computer that has it installed isn’t working right now. So the other day, I downloaded a copy of MuseScore 2, and I must say that I like it very well. After using Finale, it was pretty intuitive. A few things were different, but it is less complicated and I actually like it better for my purposes. Best of all, it’s a free program!!
He_That_Dwelleth (voice PDF)
In_the_Beginning (piano PDF)