HOW TO TEACH "MORE THAN ENOUGH"

Masa Fukuda, Director, One Voice Children's Choir

This is MasaFukuda (@masa.fukuda), Director of the One Voice Children's Choir, and my all-time producer. He's a genius at teaching music to children.

Okay, so we're not him, but we ARE working with amazing children, and they can do more than we think they can. Just sayin'. 

Order sheet music and recordings of "More Than Enough" here.

To begin with, I know what you're thinking. "How am I going to teach 3 verses?!" Which might be code for, "What in the world was she thinking?!" 

Well, I was thinking that I just HAD to have that 3rd verse, because it's the most beautiful, and because the song kind of 'grows up,' just like a child does. And I'm also thinking about several easy ways to teach it. Yes. Easy. 

Here are a few ideas for you, and then a detailed description of how to teach the song quickly -- with NO visual aids:

  1. Assign each verse to 1 or 2 children (or Young Women!) then teach only the chorus to the group – just like I’ve done on the YouTube video. (By the time they’ve have heard the soloists sing the verses a few times, the whole group will know the verses. Then you can decide whether to use soloists or group when you perform it.)
  2. Send the YouTube video link and/or the mp3 to the parents of each child. The kids can watch or listen at home, and by the time next week rolls around, they’ll know it all.
  3. You could opt to teach 2 verses, not 3. But if you do that, do me a favor and leave out the 2nd Leaving out the 3rd verse is not one of the options. (It’s my favorite.)

Now, for the details of teaching the song:

This will take you a total of about 8 minutes to teach, and when you're finished, the kids will know the chorus. I promise. 

First of all, I get a lot of people asking if I’ve made a flip chart for a particular song. And the answer is “No,” and it will always be no. I have nothing against flip charts – but it's possible to teach a song without any visual aids at all. And in fact, in some cases, I think visual aids can be more confusing than helpful.

So here is a written description of how I would teach this song, starting with the chorus.

This is the method I use every time I teach a song – which consists of a repeated series of asking questions, singing the song, and receiving answers. And I ALWAYS have the pianist play THE MELODY ONLY when we’re learning.You can add the accompaniment after the children are comfortable with the song. Here goes:

Chorister: We are going to learn a new Mother’s Day song today! I’m going to sing the chorus for you, while (pianist) plays the melody with me. The chorus lists several things mothers often do for their children. While you listen to me sing it, I want you to count how many things are listed. (Then sing the chorus – by yourself, with the pianist playing the melody only.)

Chorister: How many things did you count?

Children: 5!

Chorister: That’s right! There are 5 things. Now I’m going to sing it again, and after I’m finished, I’m going to see if you can remember all 5 of them. (Sing the chorus again.)

Chorister: Okay, let’s see if you can come up with all 5 things. (Write the answers on the board in whatever order the children give them to you.) If you're teaching it to a younger group that can't read yet, get their responses and don't write anything on the board. 

Chorister: Wow! You listened so well! You remembered all 5 things in the chorus that mothers often do for their children. Now I’m going to sing it one more time, and then I’m going to ask one of you to come up to the board and put these things in the right order. (Sing the chorus again.) 

Chorister: Okay, who thinks they can put these in order? (Volunteers raise their hands.) [Andrew], would you please just come to the board and number these things 1-5, in the correct order? (Andrew does that. The chorister repeats the phrases as he puts the numbers in front of them.) For the younger group, just get the answers in order, and keep repeating them all, over and over, each time they add the next thing.

Chorister: Would you sing these 5 things with me? (Have them sing only the 5 things with you.)

Chorister: Wow! You are learning this so fast! You're amazing! We stopped before the last line of the song. Who can tell me what the last line is?

Child: Then I think you’re doing enough.

Chorister: Right. Would you sing that part with me? (Have them sing just that part with you.)

Chorister: Okay -- just like that, you know the entire chorus! Let’s sing the whole thing. (Sing the chorus together. The pianist is still playing only the melody.)

Chorister: Now can you do it if I erase the board? (Of course they can.) (Sing the whole chorus again.)

Chorister: (This is VERY important): Who can tell me what the main message of this chorus is?

Child answers.

Chorister: That’s right. Our moms love us so much and they work so hard for us, and they worry about us. And some days it's just nice for them to know they’re doing enough. Would you go home today and give your mom a hug and thank her for everything she does for you? Maybe you can even sing her this little chorus you've learned today. She would love that. 

Thank you for being so reverent and attentive today. And thank you for learning the song so quickly. Now let's sing it one last time together.

*Next week, you can review what they already know, then sing the 2nd chorus and ask them what's different about it. By the time that second week is finished, they'll know all 3 choruses. Then you can decided how to handle the verses.

Happy singing!

Shawna

 

Shawna Edwards

Comments

Shawna Edwards

We are totally using this for Father’s day. I didn’t hear it until after Mother’s day and it works for dad’s too. :) LOVE THIS SONG.

Shawna Edwards

So, I didn’t want to cut any verses of this song and it finally clicked! The youth could sing the 3rd verse and it’s very appropriate for that verse. They will come to my home after church to practice. Then, all the children sing the final chorus.

Also, there is pretty simple sign language that can be used for the chorus of the song to help the little ones focus and to help them remember the words, especially the parts that change through each verse. All it takes is some googling for some of the signs. I don’t go crazy with the signs but maybe have 1 or 2 per phrase of the song. Thanks for the teaching tips! I will use those as I introduce the song!

Shawna Edwards

Shawna I can’t thank you enough for sharing your amazing talents! Your song The Miracle has literally changed our children and our entire ward. It is everyone’s favorite! And continues to bring the Spirit into our lives.

I am in love with your new song More Than Enough. I have been going through challenges in my marriage and my own personal life as a result. Some days I feel like I am failing in every aspect. But I keep trudging along and trying to live close to the Spirit. I feel like my children have had to suffer as I’ve had to return to work full time. This Mother’s Day song strikes a cord with me personally. I hope my children can someday feel that I have given them my all despite trials. And that my love is more than enough at this hard time. ? Thank you for helping me feel that myself.

Shawna Edwards

Shawna, I am so grateful for your talents. This will be a treasure for the mothers in our ward!!! I am wondering if you have any string music for this song? We have YW who play the cello and violin in our ward and we would love them to play along. Thanks so much, Hollie

Shawna Edwards

So you really don’t ever use visual aids? I’ve never been brave enough to go without visual aids, but I love this approach. I’m going to try it!

Shawna Edwards

Thank you for sharing your ideas of how to teach this song. I have some great singers in sr. primary and would love to use them for the solos….then the rest of the primary can learn the chorus—Genius!

Shawna Edwards

How can I get the piano music for this song for our youth choir at church? Thanks

Shawna Edwards

I have just been praying for a perfect song for my choir to sing for Mother’s Day. This is it! Thanks so much!

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