The Penny

Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.

[Sunday, February 20, 2011]

"Sister Hasting Taught Us.."

I've was out of Primary last week and the week before.. but back in today. Playing the piano! Fun times. The music leader was introducing a new song today, The Books of the Old Testament. I may have mentioned this song before.

Right, so the music leader had me play the first line, and apparently no one recognized it. Well, my kids have never actually heard the music--just my lousy voice. As I looked around, only four of the eight kids in my class last year were here: three girls and a boy. And one of the girls only comes to church about once a month. But I would think that one of the other three would recognize it! Oh, well.

Then the music leader asked if anyone knew the first book of the Old Testament. One hand--one of my girls. Then the light went off in the other three kids' heads, and they about leapt from their chairs to answer the rest of her questions: "And what comes after Genesis? Does anyone know how to say this long word? And what comes after that?" Four hands up after every question.

Then one of my girls said (with typical 10-year-old patience), "We already know this song."

Poor music leader. She stuttered for a minute. I know exactly what was going through her head: This is all I have planned for today! She asked how they knew the song, and the same girl responded, "Sister Hasting taught us in class."

The music leader was visibly relieved. She still needed to teach the song to everyone else.

She had them sing the first line (four books) and stop... and naturally my smart alecky class didn't stop but softly sang as she told them, "We're not ready for that yet!"

So then she decided to challenge them. This was mainly directed at two girls. My boy (my favorite student) was also singing, just not so obviously showing off that he knew this wordy song. He's a respectful kid. The music leader said that they would sing that first line again as a group, then she would have me play until she didn't hear anyone singing. They would be on their own, singing for as long as they could last.

We haven't sung this song since probably November. I thought they might get lost at Lamentations--they've certainly never sung it on their own. And it's a difficult song, because you're basically just memorizing words in isolation, without the benefit of context.

But wrong me! (Yes, I speak ASL sometimes. So?) Those little angels got all but the last two books.

About a minute later, I heard one say to another, exasperatedly, "It was Zechariah, Malachi!" Hey, at least she knew where to find them, even if she didn't remember every book.

This was a big reminder to me that kids really do listen and remember what you teach them, so make sure it's something worthwhile! Of course I was very, very proud of them.

And a wee bit amused at a certain non-Hasting-fan-club adult's slack-jawed expression as my kids rocked what is arguably the most difficult Primary song.


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