Have you picked out your Primary Christmas song for the year yet? I love teaching When Joseph Went to Bethlehem to the children! In this lesson plan for When Joseph Went to Bethlehem Chimes you’ll create music using pipe chimes which is just PERFECT for the holiday season!
When Joseph Went to Bethlehem Pipe Chimes
You’ll need to gather the pipe chimes numbered: 8, 10, 12, 13, 15
Sing through When Joseph Went to Bethlehem (flip chart here) once, before introducing the pipe chimes.
Demonstrate the pattern by laying the pipe chimes down in the holders and show how the chimes are played for every other piano note.
For example, you’ll play a chime on:
Jo-(seph) / went / Beth-(le-) / -hem / think / took / care
Do you have a set of pipe chimes? They’re a great instrument to add to your collection and they’re pretty affordable, too. You can get a set of 28 different pipe chimes with Musical Pipes Etsy shop.
Grab the set of Pipe Chimes Music Note Cards to easily and quickly make your own chime charts for ANY song easily! Just use your white board or chalkboard to write the lyrics or keywords and line up your note cards.
Kids Playing the Chimes:
After your demonstration, ask the children if they think they can follow the rhythm and help you with the chimes!
You will need 5 kids to help you play the chimes. Or, in a smaller Primary you can use 4 kids and have one of the children play both #13 and #10 chimes.
Point to the note in sequence of when to play each note. Each child will hold one chime holding by the string at the top and being careful not to touch the chime. The children will watch for their specific number and strike the chime with one swift tap.
Everyone sings along with the song and pick new helpers after each time through the song until everyone gets a chance to chime the chimes!
*Note: You’ll use both pages for the 1st and 2nd verse and just the 2nd page for the 3rd verse.
*Note: The pipe chime #13 is actually an A# which is indicated with the black outline. It is being used as the B-flat in the sheet music. I have used the color purple to represent the B note and help distinguish it from the A note.
- Add just one chime at a time. I recommend starting with chime #13, but you can let your volunteer pick from the available chimes. Now, add another chime number and have two helpers participate!
- Have all the children not playing the chimes pat their laps on all the alternate notes! This will create a fun rhythm band that has everyone involved!
- Try ringing the chime two times quickly on each word spot it’s assigned to for a new fun challenge!
For another unique and fun way to bring chimes into your Primary room, head over to grab this Choose the Right Chimes & Bells lesson plan!
When Joseph Went to Bethlehem
Printable Pipe Chimes Chart
This printable pipe chimes chart included here is a 1-page easy to follow pipe chimes chart! As a reminder, the chimes follow every other note starting with “Jo-(seph)”.
For even more helps when teaching this song, you’ll find extended printables including a printable lesson plan, larger chimes chart, and black and white printing options included in your INSTANT Primary Singing membership in the December Old Testament packet.
To access the free in-post printables for this post, you’ll just need to create a free account or login with the Grow.me tool. Then, confirm by email and refresh the page and ALL my free printables will automatically unlock in every post!
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For another really fun activity to teach When Joseph Went to Bethlehem, see this Song Trivia activity!
What other fun ways could you incorporate using pipe chimes while teaching this song in Primary?