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Coptic Orthodox Church
Tips for Teaching Hymns
edited December 1969
I'm curious to know different techniques people employ to teach young kids the hymns of our church. Please do share experiences, advice, tips, anything.
I know of a few methods (FYI, I am speaking from experience)
1. Alot of people tend to write hezzat and this is one option you can do for small kids. However, I prefer teaching without them because I would like for my kids to be able to chant the hymns without depending on notes.
2. Some kids might not be able to read coptic, so it might be wise to write out copies of it in coptic-english so that they can read it without any problems. It is also wise to go over pronounciation
3. Make sure you repeat
of the hymn over and over and over until it sounds perfect. Make sure they repeat after you when you do this.
4. Some people learn slower than others but make sure you are moving with the pace of the majority and not the kids who are behind or the ones who are ahead.
5. Having them learn the hymn is good but teaching them why we say it or when its said and its significance is
important as well
6. Do not tolerate kids who are misbehaving in the class. If you have to, ask them to leave if they are distracting others from learning; the bottom line is to be firm but not mean.
I think this is a good enough list. God bless your service and pray for me!
Tony gave you some great tips,
allow me to give you some more
-Make sure you give them a cd or a link to a recorded version of the hymn, repeating and practising at home makes a huge difference.
-Try organising a spiritual day for hymns every once in a while. Often hymns classes are given on sundays, when the kids are already tired from the long liturgy and sunday school lesson. When they come on another day, just for the hymns, u can get a way greater harvest. It also allows you more time to explain the rites, meanings and significant bible verses about the role of deacons and their behaviour.
-Make a balans between long hymns and the shorter ones. So for instance, if you're giving Great Lent hymns, you can start with a relatively easy one like Ti hirini, so you get them warmed up for something more difficult, for instance sha-re efnouti.
-Never become dissapointed when you find the learning speed to be lower than expected. Once you master a hymn you tend to forget how difficult it can be in the beginning lol. The pattern i discovered is that when you start a (part of a) new hymn today, it usually gets perfected in the second lesson. So don't expect too much, else you might get dissapointed.
-Dont underestimate the importance of repeating the things you thaught one last time at the end of the lesson!!! Kids might be bored and wanting to go home, but you have to insist on the last final repetition.
-Another thing is; get your priorities straight in your curriculum. It's no use to start giving them hymns that are hardly ever said. Focus on the important things, so that your class gets the idea that their labour is giving fruits almost instantly. That's a big encouragement. Once they know the basics, continue with the less frequently chanted hymns.
Just thought of another thing:
-Once they learn the hymn well reward them for it, especially with the younger ages. Let them stand next to you in the liturgy and say the hymn, buy them a small treat, anything really that makes them feel appreciated and stimulates them to do their best in the future.
i know a guy who says he went to this strict school when he was a kid... i swear coptic is his first language lol
These are great!
Got any more?