Selecting Music for Seminary Classes

Here are some resources to help you select music for

Making choosing easier

Here are a few ideas for selecting music for your Seminary students:

Ask for favorites – Not every lesson topic in Old Testament seemed to have a hymn that fit with the topic, and I grew tired of choosing songs after a while. One day, I just handed out hymnbooks to the class, and had them look up the numbers of some hymns they liked. Each student wrote 3 hymns down. Whenever I needed a hymn, I’d just choose from the list. It was a guaranteed way that *someone* would be enthusiastic about singing.

Sing the “Books of the ___” Songs – The LDS Prmary Children’s Songbook has a song for the books of the Old Testament, New Testament, and Book of Mormon. Last year, my class sang the Old Testament song for our opening song every day until our entire class had all the books memorized. After a week or so, they figured out I wasn’t kidding that I wanted them to learn it, and the last few stragglers buckled down. I think it took about three weeks, as I recall. (After that, I periodically brought out some word strips with the book names for students to race and put in order when I needed to fill up a little time at the end of class.)

Get to Know You – In some areas, teachers have students list a favorite hymn. Students describe why the hymn is their favorite and everyone sings the hymn. (This makes a great mini-devotional talk!)

Assign a music leader – The previous teacher assigned a student to be the music leader and song selector. She chose the songs and led the music. If you have ideas for choosing hymns, please share your ideas in the comments section below!

Choosing Hymns by Scripture Reference

Page 410 of the green LDS hymnbook has a great reference list of scriptures for hymns listed by book. This reference is also available online at the Church Music Player website:,18315,4787-1-1,00.html

Choosing Hymns by Gospel Topic

Page 415 of the green LDS hymnbook has a list of hymns by keyword topic. If you’re like me, you’ve used this before and been frustrated with it. Just today I (arrogantly) decided to create my own keyword list of hymns to improve on the one in the hymnbook. I got finished with the first 5 hymns and then compared my list to the one in the back. Every single keyword I came up with was identical to the ones in the hymn book’s index. Whoops. I learned that the reference really is pretty good at listing broad topics. The keyword reference is also available online here:,18284,4789-1-1,00.html

Easy Hymns

The church has published a simplified songbook called Hymns Made Easy that has a few popular hymns with easier piano music. Here is a selection of some of the simpler hymns in the Hymnbook that I got from Yahoo Answers:

302- I know My Father Lives. Super easy

301- I am a Child of God

303- Keep the Commandments.

304- Teach Me to Walk in the Light. Super easy.

306-God’s Daily Care. Not well known but easy.

308- Love One Another. Nice for everything.

274- The Iron Rod

273- Truth Reflects Upon Our Senses

246- Onward Christian Soldiers

233- Nay, Speak no Ill

209- Hark the herald Angels Sing

193- I stand all amazed

194- There is a green hill far away

144- Secret Prayer 81-Press Forward Saints

30- Come Come Ye Saints

106 – God Speed the Right. Even I (Jenny) can play most of this one!

Songs Seminary Students Actually LIKE to Sing

This year I asked students in my class to list their favorite songs.  Here’s what they said sorted in order of most popular, then alphabetically.

No pianist

I didn’t have a solid pianist last year, so I used the Church Music Player at to provide most of our music in class. My husband plugged my laptop up to the TV and we displayed the words on the screen. Eventually we got the audio hooked up to our surround sound speakers, too. The hymns and many other songs are also available on CD or in MP3 format at the Church Music Player website.

Using technology to engage Seminary students with music

I use the Church Music Player (piped to display through my television) at to handle the music in my Seminary class. We love it because we can adjust the tempo or change the key to something we can all sing. It also highlights the words and notes as it plays, which helps focus the students. Sometimes we have learned to sing parts by adjusting the volume on the tenor, bass, alto, or soprano parts. We love it! I have also used different videos on YouTube or from the Church’s Old Testament DVDs as songs. I’ve even used some old time gospel spirituals like Go Down Moses or Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho. There are a few recordings of the MoTab and other choirs singing hymns online, too. My students love, love, love seeing something a little different and getting a break from singing themselves each morning

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