The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/Mormon Children's Music: Its History, Transmission, and Place in Children's Cognitive Development
Karnas-Haines, Colleen J.
Provine, Robert C.
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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a children's auxiliary program for ages three to eleven that meets weekly before or after their Sunday worship service. This auxiliary, called Primary, devotes much of its time to singing. Music is not a childish diversion, but an essential activity in the children's religious education. This study examines the history of the songbooks published for Primary use, revealing the many religious and cultural factors that influence the compilations. The study then looks at the modern methods of transmission as the author observes the music education aspects of Primary. Lastly, the study investigates the children's use of and beliefs about Primary music through the lens of cognitive development. The study reveals that Primary music is an ever-evolving reflection of the theology, cultural trends, and practical needs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Unaware of such implications, the children use Primary music to express their religious musicality at cognitive developmentally appropriate levels.