The Tabernacle Choir Blog

Here's How the Songs of the Children's Songbook were Selected

The Children’s Songbook was published in 1989. Since then it has been translated into several languages for use by children and leaders across the globe. An article from the Ensign magazine chronicled the process that went into song selection. A few excerpts with unique insights of the process are below:

Even before Dwan Young had been called as Primary General President, a survey had been sent to countries throughout the world, asking Primary leaders to evaluate existing resources. Leaders were instructed to list their Primary’s favorite songs. They were also asked to comment on the familiarity of Primary songs to their children and the frequency with which they were sung.
Some surprising discoveries were made. Sister Graham laughs when she remembers reading some of the survey results. “We discovered that even in the islands children love ‘Once There Was a Snowman’!” Sister Cannon recalls being intrigued by the same thing. “Children in Samoa love the song ‘Falling Snow.’” This type of feedback, however unexpected, was put into the Church’s computer system. All songs were then ranked on the basis of responses from Primary leaders the world over. 
A total of 268 songs were decided upon, 17 of them new. Songs were then arranged into an order that, says Sister Graham, “unfolds a story or expresses our beliefs in a logical fashion.” Songs are ordered under the following section titles: My Heavenly Father, The Savior, The Gospel, Home and Family, Heritage, Nature and Seasons, and Fun and Activity. . . .
It would be impossible to compute the hours that have gone into the creation ofChildren’s Songbook. Musicians, editors, illustrators, graphic designers, committee and board members—many of them serving on a volunteer basis—have worked hard on the project. It has been a labor of love.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir frequently performs songs from the Children’s Songbook. Watch below as the Choir performs "I Am a Child of God":

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