For the various tracks, we rotate these each semester based on who is available to teach, the skill level of the available teachers, and the desire to keep things fresh. Budget is also a factor. The list below contains several ideas that we have implemented. It also contains some additional options, some of which we are considering for the future.
Purpose of Tracks
The purpose of the track time is to develop our older kids’ artistic skill level to help them be more effective worshipers. (Click this link to see an overview of our ministry including what we do with our younger kids.) We provide these tracks for our older kids to be able to focus on artistic areas that resonate with their individual interests.
We have found that the success of having various tracks available for the kids relies solely on appropriate leadership, not the other way around. First off, I look for someone who loves kids. Secondly, I find talented people with a unique artistic talent. For example, our church has an awesome lady who enjoys handbells, so I asked her to teach that class. We also have a gentleman who loves bluegrass and stringed instruments, so he was asked to teach the ukulele class.
Our recruitment strategy is simple, I pray for leadership. When the Lord lays someone on my heart, I usually approach them about the possibility by asking if they'd like to change the world. This is how profound I believe this ministry is. If a kid gets motivated to become a life-long worship artist, heaven only knows how God will use them for his Kingdom. If a leader can catch that vision, they will be an outstanding asset to our ministry.
Low Budget Options
- Boomwhackers (pitched tubes)
- Use these to play simple melodies
- Group pitches into chord groups (i.e. G major, C major, D major) and chord simple songs
- 5-gallon buckets from hardware store and inexpensive drum sticks
- Teach basic rhythm such as quarter, eighth notes, and sixteenth notes
- Use "fruits" to teach rhythm (grape = quarter note, ki-wi = eighth notes, etc.)
- Use Ta's (quarter notes) and ti-ti (eighth notes) to teach rhythm. Our kids are learning this verbiage in their public school music classes. We complement this teaching as appropriate
- Play from printed rhythmic notation as the class progresses
- Write original scripts
- Purchase skits
- Black light puppetry
- Florescent paint
- Florescent cardboard
- Blacklight purchased at local hardware store
- "Puppets" move to music (upbeat songs usually work best)
- Creative movement to a worship song
- Use appropriate-for-worship dance motions
- Use American Sign Language
- Use props such as scarfs, dowel rods, etc.
- Recorders (plastic flutes)
- Purchase one for each child
- Purchase recorder book for each child
- Play melody from hymnal for church
- Song Writing
- Have kids write new words to a familiar tune
- Have kids write a poem and get a musician at church to compose music to it
- Theater Games
- Purchase a drama games book and find games that teach kids the art of Christian theater
- Always have a few such games on hand when needed to keep a group's interest
- Tech (supervised with church’s equipment)
- Use older/discarded equipment your church already owns
- Have a knowledgeable tech person teach any interested kids to plug in mics, wind cables, hook up speakers, run the sound board, etc.
- Have someone give the kids a tour of the audio-visual equipment the church uses for its primary ministry
- Photography (kids bring camera/ ipods, etc.)
- Have the kids bring their own camera
- Teach them the basics of framing, lighting, posing, and exposure.
- Get creative with how this can apply to worship
Larger Budget Options
- 32 gallon garbage cans and bass drum mallets
- Remo Rhythm Lid (for 5-Gallon Buckets) and drums sticks
- Baritone Ukeleles and books (see pic)
- Student Guitars (Yamaha JR2 is a great option)
- Hand Chimes (see resource page for options)
- Keyboards (full size) - including music stands
- Microphone system (mics, speakers, amps)