Answers to Singing Time Questions Primary Survey

I see a lot of repeating questions asked by fellow music leaders, especially those new to the calling. To help make Answers to Singing Time Questions a little more easy to refer to, I thought I’d share a Primary Survey with 17 FAQ’s and common questions.

I shared this survey on a Primary Music Leaders Facebook Group and was thrilled with all the responses. That did mean one of the questions below is highly skewed, but I’ll make note of that below.

The survey is still open for responses and I’ll likely update this post from time to time to keep the data relevant!

It’s a fun and easy Primary survey that needs no email or personal details, so head over here to take the survey if you’d like to add your input! I would REALLY love more International responses and more feedback on favorite resources that might a little more balanced.

A quick note on the results before we get started. 57% of the respondants came from the US (excluding Utah) so when I compared results to sub groups by location, the statistics didn’t change very much for this group as it is the largest representation here.

Then, 37% of the total results were from those within Utah. There are a few slight shifts in the stats, and I’ve included those below.

Only 6% of the responses came from those outside of the United States. There are some interesting variances from those living Internationally so I have included a section specific for the International responses at the end.

Answers to singing time questions and common Primary Music Leader FAQs! You'll love this fun post full of statistics including how long on average have you had the calling, how many songs to include in the Primary Program, which holidays does your Primary sing for, how big is your Primary budget and many more!

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Singing Time Survey Questions Index

Primary Songs:

  • 1. How many songs do you actively teach on a typical Sunday?
  • 2. Do you sing any songs while the Primary children are entering or exiting the Primary room?
  • 3. Do you sing any of these extra songs regularly in Primary?
  • 4. Do you teach any special Primary songs?

Primary Program:

  • 5. How many songs do you plan to include in your Primary Program?
  • 6: How many verses do you prefer teach for each song?
  • 7: Which of these ways do you use to practice for your Primary Program?
  • 8: Do you do anything special after the Primary Program?
  • 9: How many “occasions” does your Primary usually perform a song for the ward (excluding the Primary Program)?
  • 10: What occasions has your Primary performed a song for?

Preparing for Singing Time:

  • 11: How much time do you spend each week preparing for Singing Time?
  • 12: How far in advance do you plan your Singing Time activities?
  • 13: What are your favorite resources for finding singing time ideas?
  • 14: What groups do you teach?

Song Helps:

  • 15: Do you use flip charts?
  • 16: How do you most often make your visuals and song helps?
  • 17: How much of a budget do you have for Singing Time each year?


  • 18: Where are you located?
  • 19: How big is your Primary?
  • 20: How long have you had the calling of a Music Leader?

How Many Primary Songs

This first section of questions covers how many songs and what types of songs Primary Music Leaders are teaching during Singing Time.

1: How many songs do you actively teach on a typical Sunday?

how many songs do you teach on a typical sunday primary singing time faqs and questions from music leaders

I was surprised how close the results were for teaching 1, 2, and 3 per week was! I would have thought 1 and 3 would have been pretty equal with not too many picking 2 songs.

1 in 3 Primary Music Leaders teach 1 song per week, followed closing by 3 songs and then 2 songs per week. Nearly 1 in 10 music leader includes 4 or more songs on a typical Sunday! That’s impressive and I want to learn from them. 🙂

A few comments did clarify that they are teaching 1 or so NEW songs but include a variety of additional songs the kids have previously learned or simply have fun experiences with the songs, without focusing on needing to remember the song. Some also use 2 weeks to teach and the additional weeks to review the current song and previous songs.

I also saw comments about including songs from the Primary Song List for the Year and then adding in an additional song to tie in the Come Follow Me lesson of the week!

If I have a full 20 minutes, I typically include 3 different songs that I selected from the list of songs for the year that get rotated in giving me 2-3 months with each of my Program songs. It worked wonderfully for me!

On tight weeks or if an activity went especially well, I would usually get through 2 of my planned activities and save the other one for a different week.

2: Do you sing any songs while the Primary children are entering or exiting the Primary room?

do you sing songs when kids enter or exit the primary room? primary singing time faqs and questions from music leaders

Nearly 1 in 4 (23%) add additional singing time during one or more transitions. While 77% do not add additional music when the kids are entering or leaving the Primary room.

That’s a great slot to throw in more song variety in any given week. I usually planned a couple of wiggle songs from some of the more “fun” song suggestions from the month or Come Follow Me lessons that month and added them as wiggle songs while kids were coming into the Primary room.

Then, a quick opening song to get things started and transition the mood from fun and playful to more reverent. I did all this in the time slot before Primary was actually supposed to start and it is great to squeeze in some extra singing time and song exposure!

Some in the comments mentioned they would love to sing during transitions but the pianist just practices playing or the presidency prefers background music. I think this is pretty common, so I appreciate this comment and honesty!

Slightly more music leaders in Utah (24%) sing songs during one transition. Only 2% in Utah sing for all transitions so most of this difference comes from that selection change.

3: Do you sing any of these extra songs regularly in Primary?

do you sing opening sings or birthday songs in Primary? primary singing time faqs and questions from music leaders

With the shift to 2-hour church, some songs that most music leaders routinely used to always include in our Singing Time schedules are no longer recommended. That includes birthday and welcome songs as well as an additional transition song (closing for the 1st group and opening for the 2nd group for a split Primary) and prayer is no longer advised.

You can see the full Instructions for Singing Time here to read up on what your Singing Time should include, if you would like to read the official documentation.

The instructions do say an opening song (or closing for the second group in Primary) and an Article of Faith song could be appropriately used.

I’m not making any judgement at all about utilizing additional songs, I as just curious to see how the numbers would fall. As I mentioned above, I usually used fun songs during that extra transition bit of time I had available for the best of both worlds!

Nearly 1 in 3 still include a Birthday song! Of course, that may look different now such as singing a Birthday song just once a month.

Only 1 in 10 still sing Welcome songs for when visitors come to Primary.

1 in 4 Primary children are learning one or more of the Article of Faith songs! I find that one interesting!

Almost half of all Primary music leaders include Wiggle songs sometimes during Primary!

Yet, with all that, 1 in 5 leaders choose not to include any of these extra songs.

There’s so much to unpack with this one, but I love all the variety and that ultimately it’s okay to make whatever decision is best for your Primary and your allotted time.

4: Do you teach any special Primary songs?

do you teach any special primary songs? primary singing time faqs and questions from music leaders

I wasn’t completely sure how this one would go. I personally usually include 1 “specialty” song such as Gethsemane or I Will Be What I Believe in a program year. I love those songs, but they are LONG and much harder to teach than others.

I also often will include one song from the hymn book, which would make another interesting question if I do another survey in the future.

More than 1 in 3 music leaders add 1 special song to teach during the year.

In contrast to that, approximately 1 in 6 stick to only songs from the Children’s songbook.

A barrier to using additional songs in Primary can be a language barrier. One commenter talked about most specialty songs aren’t available in other languages. I hadn’t put much thought into that as a barrier, previously.

Slightly fewer music leaders in Utah stick to only songs from the Children’s songbook (16%). But most of that difference is made up with bumping up to adding only 1 additional special song (41% said they include 1).

I have had a lot of really wonderful experiences including some of these “specialty” songs in Primary. There are quite a few that are pre-approved by the Church and available for free on the church’s website that can be a good option. I’m hoping a few more of these songs will make it into the updated Children’s Songbook when it’s finished!

Primary Program & Performances Questions

Now, let’s spend a few minutes talking about planning for the Primary Program and performing songs for other occasions. There is also a question here about how many verses do you teach, as I keep that in mind specifically when making a plan for the year both for teaching and for the Program.

There is lots of really good information here in this section!

5: How many songs do you plan to include in your Primary Program?

how many songs in your Primary Program? primary singing time faqs and questions from music leaders

I really loved the interesting way the numbers fell into this graph, visually. It’s pretty clear to see that 8 is the most popular number of songs for a Primary Program. From there, there is a higher chance to go with fewer songs rather that adding additional songs, but it’s relatively close either way.

About the same number of music leaders include either 7 or 9 songs as use 8! That’s an interesting way to think about it, isn’t it?

But overall, if you’re wondering how many songs you should plan for your Primary Program (see my tips!), anywhere between 6 and 10 should work great, depending on your Primary size for how comfortable they will be to sing a bunch of songs or how many speaking parts you’ll need to work around. There’s lots of flexibility!

6: How many verses do you prefer teach for each song?

how many verses do you teach for each song primary singing time faqs and questions from music leaders

I was a little surprised by the results here, but it was definitely one of the harder questions to answer. I personally stick to only teaching the 1st verse for most of my songs, with adding a 2nd verse or the whole song to just one or two of my song picks for the year.

For me, it means I can include a bunch more songs while still teaching the main message of any given song with the most important verse. I was surprised to see that 6% focus on just the first verse.

Just shy of 1 in 3 Primary children learn between 1 to 2 verses for most songs.

I was also surprised that so many plan to teach the whole song for most of their song choices (28% teach 2-3+ verses).

There is some shift where 32% of music leaders in Utah try to teach 2-3 verse or the whole song. Most of this variance comes from the “it varies” category.

The “it varies” category accounted for 36% of the overall votes.

7: Which of these ways do you use to practice for your Primary Program?

how do you prepare for a primary program primary singing time faqs and questions from music leaders

Less than 2% of all respondents said that they don’t do anything special to practice for the program. Because the number was so low, I opted to keep that option off of the chart and show you which tools are the most helpful instead!

A whoppin’ 84% use a variety of review games to practice singing a mix of songs for the Primary Program.

In contrast, only 24% of people (nearly 1 in 4) use a themed review game that tracks the songs progress over a couple of weeks to review all the Primary Program songs. That’s much less than I expected. I’ve always seen the cute Program Review themed games floating around and figured it’s what everyone else used, too!

As for when you hold practices, 45% hold a Saturday practice to run through the entire program and 3 in 4 music leaders have Sunday practices to review the Program. And for how many weeks do you practice the Program, I’m adding that to my list for a future survey because now I’m curious after these 2 questions in a row!

8: Do you do anything special after the Primary Program?

what do you do in primary after the primary program? primary singing time faqs and questions from music leaders

Half of all Primary groups have a special singing time with treats following the Primary Program!

Another 41% choose to either pass out a treat OR have a special singing time, but not both.

There is a slight trend in Utah wards to just pass out a treat or a prize (29%) and not also include a special singing time (down to 47%) after the Primary Program.

The additional 8% of leaders just continue with business as usual (and I’m sure lots of praise!)

Some ideas for activities after your Primary Program might include:

  • Watch a Face-to-Face Event
  • Watch a church based movie / cartoon
  • Let the kids pick/vote for the Singing Time activity the week before
  • Have the kids help plan or lead Singing Time
  • Play a big fun game that has NO pressure for learning songs! (One leader brings in a parachute!)

9: How many “occasions” does your Primary usually perform a song for the ward (excluding the Primary Program)?

how many holidays or occasions does your primary sing or perform for? primary singing time faqs and questions from music leaders

There has been a TON of questions lately about which different holidays or occasions do others prepare and/or perform a song for. I think some of that comes with Easter and Mother’s day being so close together this year, and of course Father’s Day not far behind. I was really curious to find out the answer for this one.

Most Primary groups (1 in 3) will perform songs for 3 different occasions! This is closely followed by 4+ performances (32%) and then 2 occasions during the year (24%).

When I was the music leader I would prepare a song for ONE of the spring holidays – usually Mother’s Day but sometimes instead Father’s Day or Easter. Then, we always would perform songs for Christmas either at the ward party or in Sacrament meeting. So I always stuck to 2. Any more than that felt like a LOT.

I also think some of these additional performances may have an affect / correlation to the number of songs included in the Primary Program. If I really dug through the numbers, it would be interesting to see if the more times during the year you prepared a song for a performance meant less songs planned for the big Primary Program. It’s a hard one to quantify.

These general figures were slightly skewed in Utah where 36% of Primary groups in Utah sing on 4+ occasions and another 36% sing on 3 occasions, but only 19% perform a song on 2 occasions.

10: What occasions has your Primary performed a song for?

what holidays has your primary performed a song for? primary singing time faqs and questions from music leaders

Almost 9 out of 10 wards have the Primary children sing for Mother’s Day. This is the #1 holiday that the Primary prepares a song for, outside of the Primary Program.

The next most common occasion is to prepare a song for Christmas with 83% performing for this important holiday.

Father’s Day is the next most common with almost 4 out of 5 Primary groups preparing a song for dads.

Then, there’s a sharp decline but still significant number for Easter with half of all Primary groups performing a song for Easter Sunday (53%).

Some additional occasions listed included:

  • Ward or Special conferences
  • At Ward Activities
  • 4th of July
  • Pioneer Day
  • Thanksgiving

There were also a few comments about singing from once a month to once a quarter. I also saw a couple comments about singing on random Sundays or as asked by the Ward Music Leader – or even filling in when a speaker cancels last minute!

There were a couple comments about not singing for special occasions in the past couple years, likely due to Covid-19.

I never would have thought the kids would be asked to sing for Thanksgiving, but it actually had a few responses (1 in 70 Primary’s)!

Preparing for Singing Time

Now, let’s jump right into the bulk of preparing ahead of time for Primary! This next series of question covers how much time music leaders spend prepping, how far in advance they plan, all the favorite singing time resources, and a break down of what groups you teach!

11: How much time do you spend each week preparing for Singing Time?

how much time do you spend preparing for singing time? primary singing time faqs and questions from music leaders

The majority of music leaders (1 in 3) spend about 1 hour each week planning for Singing Time.

From there, the results are all relatively close with the next most frequent answer being that 22% think about Primary all week long!

One sister talked about simplifying singing time efforts and that we should be putting less stress and time into fulfilling our callings. Instead, focusing on the important aspect of teaching from the heart and connecting with the kids personally.

I’ve heard this thought before come up in the Facebook group. I’d love to hear more perspectives on this. When I hear this it sounds like their saying all the various ideas are “too much” just for the sake of saying they are too much? Maybe it’s just me.

I guess my creative side tends to think spending a half hour or so printing and assembling or gathering supplies, or creating an interactive lesson is not a wasted effort at all if you have the time to devote to such efforts. From my experience, they almost always payoff with really engaging singing time for the kids that are memorable and fun.

Of course, if you are tight on time there are tons of ways to make planning quick and easy! I hope that my printable singing time ideas on this blog help make your planning easy and painless!

I do agree that no one should be feel that they HAVE to take time away from other important responsibilities just to make an elaborate singing time if their current circumstances would require making big sacrifices to make that happen.

When I’m ready to run another survey, I’d love to dig a little deeper on this topic! If you have any good questions in mind, I’d love to hear your ideas on how to “unpack” this question a little more.

12: How far in advance do you plan your Singing Time activities?

how far in advance do you plan your singing time activities? primary singing time faqs and questions from music leaders

There are a LOT of different ways to plan your singing time and I knew this question would need a lot of options, but still I find the answers fascinating!

Most Primary music leaders (25%) plan Singing Time during the week for the upcoming Sunday. Interestingly, 5% wait until Saturday night or early Sunday morning to finalize their plan.

I did include an option in the survey for “I wing it! I don’t plan anything in advance” as that was how the music leader just before me operated singing time. However less than 1% selected this option, and each respondent had at least 3 years experience as a music leader.

I had a couple responses in the comment that talked about planning ahead of time and then filling in additional details as it got closer. Such as picking the songs in advance and then finalizing the activity during the week. Or making a rough plan for the year, and then fleshing out the details as it got closer.

Those in Utah are have a few slightly skewed stats with 18% that plan a month at a time and 29% plan during the week, but fewer prepare a rough plan at the beginning of the year (8%).

13: What are your favorite resources for finding singing time ideas?

what are your favorite resource and place to find singing time ideas? primary singing time faqs and questions from music leaders

A Note About Facebook Bias:

A big disclaimer for these stats, before we dive in further. I ONLY shared the survey link on the LDS Primary Music Leaders Facebook Group. I planned to share a link to the survey here on my blog as well, but I had a wonderful response (over 350 people took the survey) that I went ahead and just tallied the results and wrote up this post.

This obviously meant that since the source of the survey came from one particular resource, most would also suggest this as a very helpful place to find Singing Time ideas.

Of course, I completely agree that the Facebook group is a wonderful resource!! But, it can also be VERY overwhelming with tons and tons of posts and not everyone uses Facebook.

I do think it’s just important to remember the bias in this response, and hopefully over time the results will become a little more balanced and fair as others take the survey by finding the link from additional resources such as on this post or from a social share. 🙂

With that out of the way, let’s dive into the results!

Most Popular Resources for Singing Time Ideas:

More than 9 out of 10 respondents utilize Facebook Groups to find singing time ideas!

One comment mentioned that Facebook has been the most helpful as it points to all sorts of different resources. There was also a thought about being able to use different resources was helpful because it gives totally different types of activities as people think and create differently – love that!

Another popular resource is finding singing time ideas on blogs or websites with 40% of music leaders marking this as one of their favorite resources! I did create a really long in-depth post with over 70 resources for singing time ideas here.

It was a really result between both Pinterest (30%) and YouTube (29%) being the next best go-to place to find idea for Singing Time.

I would love for you to follow me on your favorite and preferred platforms! I’m working on creating Pinterest Boards themed by song title that should be a wonderful resource!

I also have some ideas for a Facebook Group for Singing Time Ideas as one of my next projects.

A great resource one person commented was using music professionals to learn how to teach music! I love that! And of course relying on learning from others can be a great resource! 17% found previous music leaders or a friend helpful.

Paid Resources:

I have to be honest that I was a little bit happy to see so few respondents relying on paid resources. I do think for sure there is a time and a place when things should be charged for (and are totally worth it!), but I love how freely many share and give their ideas away.

For those that visit my blog regularly, you’ll know I do support the huge amount of time I spend working on this website (about 30 hours each week) with ad revenue. I know the ads aren’t always pleasant, but I do not want to charge for my singing time ideas and ads allow me to keep all my singing time ideas free!!

Using Inspiration:

One final note on inspiration for singing time: I did receive a couple responses about inspiration being the leading guide for what to do in Singing Time. Of course, that would have made a wonderful option on the list. But, I also think the Spirit guides us to finding ideas and how to adapt them to our own Primary.

Inspiration most likely has big influence on how many plan and implement the activities they use in singing time! I think it’s a given, even if we don’t always recognize the Spirit guiding us, all good ideas thoughts and promptings come from the Spirit!

14: What groups do you teach?

do you have a combined or separate primary? primary singing time faqs and questions from music leaders

There’s the age old question about combined versus separate Junior and Senior Primary groups. I was so curious to find out which is more common, only to be almost ironically perfectly split between both options (49% each)!

While there wasn’t a clear winner, it was still really helpful information for me, and other music leaders to know!

I think since what I knew as a music leader was two separate age groups, I plan most of my singing time with that in mind. It will be help me in the future to consider how combined Primary’s might best use a particular singing time activity.

I was really interested to learn that approximately 1 in 10 Primary music leaders have a co-teacher and divide up singing time in some fashion. I’d love to ask a question about that in any future survey – such as do you divide Jr/Sr or rotate weeks/months, etc!

There was a comment about a Primary being recently combined and the Music Leader much preferred the two groups separate. I do think most often this decision about combined versus is out of our control as the music leader, though I’m sure we can add our input.

I was thrilled to see that 25% are still able to teach Nursery singing time! That was my ABSOLUTE favorite and I had a little singing time bag for Nursery that I really loved, and the kids did too! That post has TONS of info if you are one of the lucky ones that get to teach the littlest ward members.

That 25% equates to roughly half of those with a combined Primary (that would then have the available time to be able to go to Nursery) take advantage of that opportunity. Of course, some wards may simply have the Nursery leaders include songs or call someone just to take over that responsibility.

Printing Song Helps for Singing Time

This next set of questions will cover questions about printing visuals and song helps for Singing Time. It includes questions about flip charts and budgets!

15: Do you use flip charts?

do you use flip charts in Primary? primary singing time faqs and questions from music leaders

I feel like this one is a HOT topic. Like one of those taboo political topics you really shouldn’t get in the middle of. It seems a little polarizing into camps of “you should never” and those that choose to frequently use flip charts.

Well, the results area actually almost as polarizing as the topic seems. It’s pretty evenly split between 41% rarely or occasionally use flip charts and the other 43% use flip charts often or most weeks. These numbers came from grouping the two least often and then the 2 most often responses.

The most popular option, by a slight margin at 28%, was to use flip charts whenever they are helpful in Singing Time. I think that’s a very reasonable response.

I see value in flip charts, for sure, but I don’t use them as a Primary means of teaching, personally. But I’m totally okay with music leaders using them as much or as little as they would prefer.

Some may need to depend on them for language barriers or for limited time to prep, for example. One comment specifically talked about how they use flip charts for the teachers so they actually sing along with the kids, which is unfortunate but often necessary.

I do offer several different styles of Primary Flip Charts including slideshows for most of the songs I’ve taught on my blog. If you like using them, head over to see the ones I have available.

16: How do you most often make your visuals and song helps?

how do you most often make your visuals and song helps? primary singing time faqs and questions from music leaders

This question was slightly influenced by my own curiosity to know how to best provide printable singing time ideas here on my blog. But it was also prompted by a few recent comments about sending things off to a print shop to be printed!

Most Primary music leaders print song helps at home (78%) with 10% of those printing mainly in black and white.

I had a few other options in the survey including to print at the ward building, have a friend or ward member print for you, or just use the whiteboard/chalkboard, but the total together was pretty small, so I lumped these 3 together under “other” which makes up about 5.5% of all responses.

I also had comments about using more than one of the methods above. I thought it would be most helpful to see which is used most often, but it may be more insightful to have made this question multiple choice.

Another 9% make their own visuals with paper or posters and 7% send files to a print shop!

Some use pictures from Church magazines to help make song helps! What a great idea. And there were some comments about using what was already previously available from other music leaders.

Some additional comments suggested they use PowerPoint for everything, and don’t print anything. I totally understand using PowerPoint or a TV for a lot of things (videos, flip charts, even some games) but I still think a lot probably need either the white board or printing.

I’ve talked about HP’s Instant Ink service on this website before, but I can’t talk about printing without mentioning it. I’ve been using it for 4 years now and I still LOVE it! They send me new ink cartridges about every other month on the $12/month plan. I print a TON for this blog and as a big family and it saves me so much. My ink cartridges are $80 retail!

If you want to give Instant Ink a try, use my link and we both get a free month! It helps me a lot to cut down my costs in printing (and reprinting) my singing time ideas to make sure they’re just right!

17: How much of a budget do you have for Singing Time each year?

how much is your Primary budget? primary singing time faqs and questions from music leaders

Most people responded (44%) that they didn’t have a budget. This may include those that also did not know what their budget was or didn’t have a specific budget.

I did receive several comments with some that didn’t know what their budget actually is. Some are able to submit receipts for reimbursement without a set budget and others choose not to submit most of their expenses and decide to just keep the things they prepare for Primary.

1 in 10 have a budget under $25 for Singing Time. Another 1 in 5 have a budget between $25 and $60.

A total of 16% said they are given a budget between $61 to $100 each year.

The survey originally had a category for $100-150 and then More than $150, but they were both relatively small so I combined the two and have noted them above in a budget more than $100 category, which includes 9% of all respondents.

It’s definitely interesting to see what others budgets might be. If you haven’t had a conversation with your Primary Presidency about a budget yet, don’t hesitate to do so. Music Leaders have a BIG calling and need a lot of supplies!

If you do have a budget, you’ll love this post with all of our favorite and essential supplies for music leaders. It may even remind you of things you’re already buying that you should be expensing!

General Survey Demographics

To help me classify the results a little bit better, I asked 3 general demographics questions including location, experience, and Primary size. These 3 categories helped me sort through a few of the questions to get more specific!

You’ve seen many of the Utah-specific results sprinkled in above, but there are a few additional included here plus lots of additional details for our International Primary answers!

18: Where are you located?

where are most primary music leaders located? primary singing time faqs and questions from music leaders

The majority of members that responded (57%) live in the United States, but outside of Utah.

An additional 37% of responses came from members who live in Utah.

6% of our International Primary Leaders added feedback to the survey. It’s a pretty small sampling so I do hope more International members chime in! But of course this blog and the survey are in English, so that will have some impact on the number of responses.

Still, I think we can find some interesting trends with the results. Just keep in mind that the sample group was marginally relatively small (20 respondents).

International-Specific Survey Results:

  • Primaries outside of the US had much smaller Primary groups with most being under 25 children and only one in the 61-80 range.
  • 73% have a combined Primary.
  • Only 1 response of singing while the kids enter the Primary room.
  • 30% include 6 or less songs in their Primary Program.
  • None of the International Music Leaders selected they only teach the 1st verse. Almost all the responses were 2-3+ and that It Varies.
  • 35% sing on 4 or more occasions!
  • 45% use flip charts most or every week and another 25% include them regularly (whenever helpful). I wonder if varied attendance or language barriers have some affect on this result!
  • Budget was a really interesting one! Most (52%) don’t have a budget but there was almost no middle ground. They had either a really large budget or next to no budget.
  • Experience was another fascinating result. 50% are new music leaders (under 1 year experience) and another 20% with 1-2 years in the calling. Then a higher percentage are music leader veterans (15% have served for more than 8 years!).

A Few More Utah-Specific Stats!

  • 14% use a Print Shop, which was kinda of surprising to me!
  • Members in Utah had a slight shift downward (2% shift) from always to never using flip charts with the middle number staying roughly the same percentages.
  • Utah had a slightly smaller # of combined Primary classes (45%) which is likely in part due to the larger overall Primary sizes. Despite fewer combined Primary groups more music leaders also lead Nursery with 29% (4% more than the average).
  • Less (28%) spend about 1 hour with the shift in time mainly going towards 30 minutes or less and 2 hours.

19: How big is your Primary?

how big is your primary? primary singing time faqs and questions from music leaders

This was another one of those questions that I really had no idea! It’s pretty even across the 3 top groups: 10-25 kids (28%), 26-40 kids (28%), and 41-60 kids (27%) each had approximately the same # of responses.

I feel like I hear questions about really small Primary groups often, so I thought there might be a little higher percent under 10 kids. If I were to run the survey again, I’d probably adjust the bottom group to 15 and skew the other groups accordingly.

Only 3% of Primary classes are under 10 kids! The question specifically asked to consider the entire Primary, if split into 2 groups.

Another 14% of Primary groups have 61 or more children, which breaks down evenly between 61-80 and 80+ kids.

Not so surprisingly, only one Utah ward had less than 10 children. 10% have a Primary with 61-80 kids and 11% have a Primary with more than 80 kids. Their results are all slightly skewed towards a large Primary, but not as much as I would have thought.

20: How long have you had the calling of a Music Leader?

how long have you been a music leader? primary singing time faqs and questions from music leaders

1 in 3 Primary Music Leader have had the calling for less than a year! I really love this statistic! That means there are many who are getting to learn the joy of teaching music to children, but also may be struggling learning the ropes of a new calling. This is super helpful info!

Another 28% have been in the Music Leader calling for 1-2 years. I think in this timeframe you’re just starting to get into the swing of things and feeling confident in your calling. Hopefully you’ll get a few more years!

1 in 5 respondents have served as a music leader for 3-4 years.

I was really curious to see how many might have had even MORE experience due to multiple times in this calling or maybe just a short staffed ward that needed the help. Just shy of 1 in 10 (9%) have served as a music leader for 5-7 years and another 8% have served for 8 or more years!

A Fulfilling & Challenging Calling:

I loved the several comments I read about how much they love this calling! I felt the same way! Of course, it’s a VERY difficult calling that can have a lot of demand on your time and talents. I know it’s not easy for everyone.

There were some comments, and rightfully so, about how demanding the calling can be with other commitments. And not feeling very supported by the Primary Presidency. Or, feeling like there aren’t a lot of clear directions or training on how to be effective in this calling.

However, there was also several comments about how amazing it is to be a teacher of Gospel truths to all of the Primary aged children every week! It is definitely a calling where the Lord has certainly entrusted a lot to our hands!

This quote may have been my favorite, and I hope the sister is okay with me sharing her words:

“It’s like teaching the best investigators class, primary children, using the best spiritual tool, music. I love it!”

I think it’s the perfect place to end and start wrapping up this incredibly long post! It’s over 6,000 words and has taken me an ENTIRE day to sort through the results, create the graphics, and write up this blog post! I hope you’ve found a lot of value here!

Future Primary Survey Questions to Ponder

If you missed taking the survey, it is still open for responses and you can take the Primary Survey here! I hope to update this post in maybe 6 months or so to have even more balanced and accurate results! It’s fun, easy, and there’s no personal information collected!

I’m not quite ready to tackle an entire new survey, but this one prompted serval additional questions. I’m adding them here, as I think they would be interesting to think about, talk about, and eventually I will open a new survey with some of these and others for a round 2 post. I will probably work on another survey in the fall.

  • How do you feel about this calling?
  • What do do if you feel burnt out?
  • Who picks the songs for the Program?
  • What kind of ways do you teach songs?
  • How supported do you feel by your Primary Presidency?
  • Do you have a pianist?
  • How much time are you typically given for Singing Time?
  • Do you have any additional calling(s)?
  • How many weeks do you practice specifically for the Program?
  • How do you split your time with a co-teacher?

In the meantime, I’d love to hear what additional questions YOU have that would be great to include in a survey! I also would love any additional insights or thoughts you’ve had from any of the survey results above. The comments are open for your thoughts and ideas!

Please feel free to share a single graphic above (with link back to this post) to start a discussion on any of the results or to add info to an article you may be working on.

This post may also be available in: English Español

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