Category Archives: The Toolshed

Toolshed + FREE Energizer: Head and Shoulders, Baby!

NEW Toolshed from Tiffany Hitchcock As choir leaders, we want our children to always sing their best. We plan and prepare, but at some point we lost the attention of our singers during rehearsal. When we see eyes wandering, bodies fidgeting, hear yawns and sighs — what do we do? Get up and move! Movement and engagement go hand in… Read more »

Helpful Ideas for Dealing with Absences in Your Children’s Music Ministry

As we head into the holiday season, the Growing in Grace Creative Team’s Carol Dickerson, Paula Farrar, and Dora Ann Purdy share tips to help you anticipate student absences, encourage attendance, and present your program with confidence in this busy season. Give rehearsal and performance information to parents at the beginning of the year or semester. Families can plan around performances if they know… Read more »

Get Ready for “Stress Free” Christmas Programs and Pageants

Enlist enough helpers for the size of your choir. Don’t try to do everything yourself… let your helpers feel needed! Communicate date, time, and appropriate attire to choir families. Send information well in advance and repeatedly. Consider ensembles of three for solo singing parts. Three voices blend better than two. And, if a child gets sick or can’t participate at… Read more »

Shared Rehearsal Space Solutions

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More often than not, children’s choir shares space with other ministries of the church or school — Sunday School, scouts, missions groups, quilters, and more. When your rehearsal room has to do double duty while being careful to keep others’ displays and bulletin boards in order, we have four handy suggestions. Flip Charts are Your Friend Office or school supply… Read more »

Tech Tutorial with Terry Taylor

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Do you use PowerPoint or presentation software in your choir rehearsals? Ever wished you could, but don’t know where to start? Managing Editor Terry Taylor has prepared a helpful tutorial to demonstrate how to import pages directly from the Growing in Grace curriculum into PowerPoint. Let us know if you would like to have additional tech tutorials like this one…. Read more »

Freebie: Popsicle Treats Activity

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Popsicle Treats Activity gives children an opportunity to play a singing game and practice singing correct vowel sounds and sol-mi melody patterns. [Preparation: Cut apart Popsicle Treat Cards, and glue to popsicle/craft sticks to make”microphones” for student singing.] Introduce the “Popsicle Treats” song. Sing “Popsicle Treats,” omitting the question/answer part, as children listen. Indicate the sol mi mi pattern with hand signs or… Read more »

Repost: What My iPhone Stole From Me

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This week, the Growing in Grace staff has come across an article that speaks to the need to disconnect from technology that would distract us from Christ and from one another, the theme of our first-ever children’s musical: Unplugged: #DaretoDisconnect. If you would like to read the post by Christi Straub as featured on the blog by Joshua Straub, Ph.D., please follow… Read more »

God’s Magical Gift of Music by Nan Grantham

This week, we celebrated the 80th birthday of Nan Grantham, a well-loved contributor to the Growing in Grace family. In honor of her time and talents that have been devoted to children’s choirs throughout the Southeast, we would like to share with you an article of inspiration as part of your summer reading. Nan has been our inspiration; let her be yours. … Read more »

Five Purposeful Preps To Do This Summer…

You know that feeling of coming home after a long day at work to a crockpot filled with a scrumptious supper? The early morning (or late night) prep was all worth it! Right? Carol Dickerson, our Design Editor for Preschool and Younger Children, has polled her colleagues and drawn from her experience to share their top five purposeful summer preps…. Read more »

Freebie: Note Value Tourney

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Download the full instruction and activity components: Note Value Tourney Activity and Teaching Steps Review the Note Value Tourney Chart.           Tell children that each symbol on the chart has a value which designates its duration of sound or silence when used in music. Explain that the basic value of notes is one beat. Some notes are a… Read more »

Unplugged Musical: Preview Packs Available!

Listen first exclusively here!  Following the command of Hebrews 12:1, this timely and witty musical dares us to disconnect from things that distract us from one another and from Christ. Written by award-winning composers Dennis and Nan Allen, all music and drama are appropriate from grades 1 through 6. The Preview Pack is available NOW and contains a listening CD… Read more »

Freebie: Freeze, Guys! Visuals and Activities

This week, we’d like to offer a freebie activity from our Growing in Grace curriculum: the Freeze, Guys! Visuals and Activities!                           Use Freeze, Guys! as a boredom buster: Play a song, and ask children to skate around the room to the steady beat. Stop the recording randomly. When the music… Read more »

Keeping the Beat Activity by Dora Ann Purdy

Steady beat is the most fundamental concept in music. It’s the ongoing, repetitive pulse that occurs in songs, chants, rhymes, and music. It’s the part that makes you want to tap your toes, clap your hands, or jump up and dance like no one is watching. It’s all about the “timing.” 1. General understandings about rhythm and beat Music has a steady beat…. Read more »

A Safe Place for Children: Article by Terry Taylor

This week, the Greenhouse Blog will revisit an article by our Managing Editor Terry Taylor on the importance of making churches a safe space for children:  I was subpoenaed to testify in court recently on behalf of a girl who participated in our children’s music ministry. The girl gave us reasonable cause to believe that she was suffering abuse from… Read more »