How to Conduct Primary Music – Mini Conducting Course

Last year I was asked if I would share with the Activity Day girls a mini course on conducting music! I thought how fun!! I set to work to create a little printable I could bring in with me that the girls could keep and follow along to help them better visualize and remember the things I would share with them about conducting.

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As a quick disclaimer, I’m not personally amazing at conducting myself and I rarely — if ever — actually lead the music in Primary like a normal conductor might. Instead, I do hand actions and symbols and sort of act out the song as we go along.

That being said, we still had a really fun time together practicing conducting and the Activity Day girls loved this! It would also make a fun Singing Time lesson plan that would last 1-2 weeks in a row, depending on how much of the printable you wanted to work though and how much repetition you plan!


How to Conduct Primary Music

To be able to teach the kids, you’ll first need to know how to conduct music in Primary. If you’re not sure how to, just try following through the mini course printable yourself! It will walk you through each step. A little practice and you should be good to go!


Understanding Beat and Rhythm

The first step to understanding how to conduct music is being able to find the beat of a song. To teach this concept, we had fun clapping along with a Primary song with a great beat pattern – When I Am Baptized.

We then compared what the beat sounds like by clapping along with the rhythm. The terms are explained and demonstrated in this mini course!


Time Signature

Next, you can teach the kids where to find time signature and what those numbers represent. This will help them to find the right conducting pattern to use to lead the music.

You can also explain how many beats per measure and demonstrate how to count out the beats. We turned to our hymn books and flipped to the Primary song section to practice finding the time signature and clapping along to the beat!


Conducting Patterns

Finally, you’ll be able to talk about the different patterns for leading music and when to use each. We practiced one, then had the girls help me lead with other similar songs with the same time signature.

You’ll have a lot of fun, and be more successful in teaching this mini conducting course, by allowing lots of involvement and practice!


Mini Conducting Course Printable

The mini conducting course printable I created is a single page (front and back) that can be folded in half down the center to create a little booklet. It covers:

  • Beat vs Rhythm
  • A practice exercise on how beat and rhythm differ
  • How to find Time Signature
  • Conducting patterns
  • And an explanation guide to patterns and other ways to add meaning while conducting

I recommend printing this 2-page Mini Conducting Course document using your printer’s options to print on both the front and back of the paper. You’ll want to flip the paper on the “short” edge of the paper. Then, you can fold the single page in half and create a little booklet to use!

If you have any trouble printing front to back, just print as many copies as you need of just the 1st page, then load the printed pages back into the print and print the 2nd page on the back!

How to Conduct Primary Music

Click here —> to Print Mini Conducting Course Printable


I’ll also share here my very “rough” notes for leading the activity with the Activity day girls! You likely won’t need this extra notes page, but for those that may find it helpful, I’ll included it here:

Click here —> to Print Conducting Notes Sheet


What other fun ideas do you have for teaching kids to lead and conduct music?

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