One really easy, no-prep way to teach the words of a song for the very first time is with Echo Singing! You can also use this method if the children need a review of the words to make sure they are sing them correctly or to help them with a specific line of melody from the song. I’ll be using Echo Singing to teach In My Father’s Hands this upcoming week!
In My Father’s Hands
How to Do Echo Singing:
- You will say or sing one phrase or line of the song at a time. Pause after you have finished your part and point to the children indicating that it is their turn to repeat.
- You can work your way through the song one single phrase/line at a time, or build on previous lines starting from the beginning each time.
- It works really well to try echo singing without the piano if you are confident in the melody and can sing the lines without assistance. It helps the children more easily hear and follow your voice.
- Use your hands to help! They can indicate the pitch of the notes, the speed of the melody, or be used to demonstrate keywords.
Echo Singing In My Father’s Hands:
- I always like to start by singing the song all the way through once before I begin any activities. With a brand new song, you might simply play the music through one time so they can hear the melody. Or you can sing to the children along with the piano so they can be exposed to the words one time first.
- Introduce the activity by telling the children you will be doing echo singing. Explain the rules and how to echo sing.
- You can make this fun and dramatic, if you want, like tell them to pretend we are in a large, dark cave with an echo. You can even dim some of the lights (make sure your pianist can still see!) to add to the fun.
- I plan to sing just a single phrase at a time and build up throughout the song until the kids are echoing back the entire verse in response.
- “Firm and steady…” echo repeats
- “Firm and steady enough to hold me…” echo repeats
- “Firm and steady enough to hold me, so I can leap free…” echo repeats
- “Firm and steady enough to hold me, so I can leap free. I know He will catch me…” echo repeats
- After we’ve made our way through the whole verse, I’ll split the group in half and let one side start and the other side echo singing line by line! Then, we’ll switch letting the other side lead the verse.
Extension Ideas for Echo Singing:
- Have the children echo sing back and forth between two sides of the room. In a large Primary, you can split into smaller groups with 3-4 total groups and have them echo from group to group! Echo sing by phrase, line, or the whole song!
- Echo SKIP sing by having one group start the echo singing and sing a single phrase. Then, the echo sings the repeated phrase AND adds the next phrase. The first group then echos starting at the added line and adds the following line of the song, like this:
- Group 1: “Firm and steady…”
- Group 2: “Firm and steady enough to hold me…”
- Group 1: “Enough to hold me, so I can leap free…”
- Group 2: “So I can leap free. I know He will catch me…”
- Group 1: “I know He will catch me. I know I’m safe…”
- Group 2: “I know I’m safe. I feel great strength…”
- Group 1: “I feel great strength in my Father’s hands.”
- Group 2: “In my Father’s hands.”
- If your Primary knows how to and already loves to do rounds, you could have the echo start right after your line while you keep singing! Keep in mind, rounds are difficult for most Primaries so don’t try this with the piano or with groups that aren’t already comfortable with rounds.
What other fun ways could you echo sing? How have you used this idea in Singing Time?