On your marks
Sometimes you want the children to listen to God’s word in a song, but it’s not necessarily a singalong one. Here’s a simple idea to help them listen actively.
You’ll need your recorded music, paper and drawing materials for each child.
Simply ask the children to listen to the song or piece of music and to draw whatever the music makes them think of or whatever pictures come up in their minds.
You might like to say a prayer before you turn on the music: ‘Dear Jesus, we would like to listen to you now. Please help us to hear what you have to tell us through this song and through the pictures in our heads.’
Make sure you join in too – God might want to speak to you as well.
You may want to play the piece through more than once if it’s short.
After the music, you could invite the children to share with the rest of the group what they have drawn, respecting anyone who prefers to stay quiet.
Try not to comment on the quality of the picture or imply that they should draw for your approval (‘What neat colouring!’; ‘I like that boat.’) but rather go for non-judgemental comments (‘Would you like to tell us about what you’ve drawn?’; ‘I can see you had a lot of thoughts.’)
You could finish with a prayer, thanking God for all he’s told you.
It might be best to do this for the first time with songs with very visual images (eg, As the deer pants, Living under the shadow of your wing, Lovely Jubbly etc.)