This is part 2 of the Primary Survey I conducted back in April of 2022. I broke down the WAY TOO big of a post into more easily digestible sections based on 3 prompts – picking primary songs to teach, preparing for the program and holidays, and then weekly singing time prep!
In this post, I’ll share ideas for teaching Primary Songs for the Primary Program and if you should consider singing for occasions – according to other music leaders.
But, you will also want to visit the original main post to dive into the demographics that are super fascinating and give a lot of additional insights, especially international shifts in the results! Head over to read the original post here.
Primary Program & Performances Questions
Let’s dive into talking about planning for the Primary Program and performing songs for other occasions. This post will cover survey questions 6-10 including:
- 6. How many songs do you plan to include in your Primary Program?
- 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?
6: How many songs do you plan to include in your Primary Program?
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!
7: Which of these ways do you use to practice for your Primary Program?
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!
To help you tackle practicing songs for your Primary Program, you’ll love this post with more than 20+ Primary Program Review Games and Themes!
8: Do you do anything special after the Primary Program?
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)?
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?
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%).
You’ll love these master lists (with printable reference sheet) with all the Primary songs for these holidays here to help you pick your song:
- Mother’s Day Song List
- Father’s Day Song List
- Easter Primary Songs List
- Christmas Primary Songs List
- Valentine’s Day Primary Songs About Love!
Some additional occasions listed included:
- Ward or Special conferences
- At Ward Activities
- 4th of July
- Pioneer Day
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)!