Christmas Preschool & Children's Program FAQ



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Cathy's Music LLC

Kid-friendly
Christian songs
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director's job easy!


Cathy@cathysmusic.com


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"For all of you preschool and children's Christmas music program directors,
here are a few answers to your Frequently Asked Questions."
Cathy


 
Children at the manger in the Christmas music program.  
A camel & wiseman in the Christmas program.
  Children playing instruments in the Christmas program.


Why should we do a Children's Christmas program?

 . . . Children learn the Christmas story . . . the best way to know the story is to tell the story!
 . . . It gives children a chance to share their talent or try something new in a safe and affirming environment. 
 . . . It's a friendly and forgiving "audience" . . . sometimes the mistakes the children make during a Christmas musical are the most memorable parts of the program. 
 . . . A worship service that is led by children is an affirmation of children and their gifts and all the things they have to teach us adults about ourselves and the grace of God! 
 . . . Children enjoy doing a program.  Only adults get stressed out about the Christmas program.  Remember, no matter how rough that last rehearsal is . . . God always pulls it all together  . . . ALWAYS!

What every director needs:
 . . . A team of adults who will pray you through and help you with costumes, props, crowd control, rehearsing the speaking parts and providing snacks.  You don't have to do it all!  People like to be needed so recruit volunteers and use them as helpers for the Christmas program.
 . . . A good accompanist or accompaniment track.  Your children's choir can only sing as well as your accompanist can play.  An excellent keyboard player is a gift from God!
 . . . Cue cards that remind children of the words to the songs, props that are needed and names of children who are up next with their speaking parts.  You want to set your children's choir up for success, so help them out with lots of cue cards. 


God's blessings to you as you equip your children & preschoolers to tell the Christmas story in a fresh way this year!

Click here to return to the Children's and Preschool Christmas Music page.

Click here for Can-Do Christmas Program tips for anyone helping with the Christmas program.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Cathy's Christmas Musical Programs for Children & Preschoolers


How can I preview a children's/preschool Christmas musical?
Most of my customers preview a Christmas musical on my web site. 
You can read script excerpts from all of the Christmas plays at this link: script. 

You can listen to a short sample of each Christmas song by clicking on the song title in the music list. 
Preschool Christmas songs are available at this link:  Pre-K Christmas songs     
Children's Christmas songs are available at this link:    Children's Christmas songs

If you are working with a committee or your pastor needs to read through the entire script and listen to me singing the full version of each song, a preview package is available for $8 plus shipping.  
JUST A NOTE:  The preview package does not include permission to perform the script or any of the songs in the musical - it is a read-through copy only!  If you decide to use the play, performance rights are $18.  If you decide to use the full musical (songs & play), the 20-minute Christmas program is $35 plus shipping and the 40-minute Christmas program is $45 plus shipping


Do I get a discount on the purchase of a Christmas program if I have ordered the preview package for that program?
Sorry, there is no discount for the Christmas program . . . the cost of a preview package covers the expenses for providing you with the CD and script in the preview package you receive.


How do you make a 40-minute Christmas musical into a 20-minute musical?
I make a musical shorter by taking out some of the songs OR by singing fewer verses in a song.  On occasion, I will also remove a portion of the script to shorten a musical.


How do you decide which children get the speaking parts in your plays?
I pass around a piece of paper and ask the children to sign up if they want a speaking part.  We have a tradition of giving speaking parts to the older children, but all of my scripts are kid-friendly so your younger children (grades 2-4) would certainly be able to handle the speaking parts.
OR
You can also hold auditions and have the children read for you and for each other.
OR
You can invite children to put their name in a hat if they are interested in a speaking part.  You then announce that the first name you draw out of the hat will play the part of Mary, an angel, etc.


What are the non-speaking parts in your scripts?
Non-speaking parts are for children who want to dress up in a costume, but don't want to memorize any lines.  Non-speaking parts are a great option for children who are shy or have autism, learning disabilities or are ADHD.
Example #1 - Non-speaking part:  A scripts has 3 shepherds.  2 of the shepherds have speaking parts and the non-speaking shepherd carries the bag of feed for the sheep. 
OR
Example #2 - Non-speaking part:  One of the Christmas songs includes claps.  One of your children who wants a non-speaking part could play the tambourine on the claps. 
Be creative about incorporating lots of ways to feature each child (or group of children) doing something unique and special in the Christmas program.


Are there children's voices on the vocal CD included with each Christmas program?
My voice is the only voice on the vocal CD but my dream is to include children's voices in the recordings in the future.


Can I duplicate the vocal CDs and send them home with the children in my children's choir?
 
Yes, once you purchase the full musical package, there is no additional charge for duplicating the vocal CDs and sending them home with the children in your choir.  Children learn music very quickly when they have their own CD to play over and over!  Please include the Cathy's Music copyright information on your CD labels.


What is a keyboard CD?
A keyboard CD ($20) is a recording of me playing the full version of each song.  There is no vocal recording on this CD - it is piano only!  This CD may be used for rehearsal time with your children's choir or for your performance - it's like hiring a piano player who plays the music the same way every time!


Do you sell MP3s of the songs in the Christmas musicals?
Yes!  Most of the songs have an MP3 available ($3 per song).  MP3s include 2 separate tracks - one vocal track of me singing the song and a second track of the keyboard only with no vocals.  If a song has been recorded as part of a medley, that song will not have an MP3 available and it will be noted on the music list.


Do I have permission to record or make DVDs of the children's / preschool Christmas program? 
Yes, once you purchase the full musical package or performance rights for the script, there is no charge for recording the musical and distributing it to families and friends at your location.  Please include the Cathy's Music copyright information on your DVD labels.


Am I allowed to make copies of the sheet music and play from the Christmas musical?
 
Yes, once you purchase the full musical package or performance rights for the script, you have permission to make as many copies of the sheet music and play as you need for your Christmas program performance.  Please include the Cathy's Music copyright information on all of your copies.  Please do not give my music or scripts away to local churches or family members in other churches.  If you know of someone who is interested in purchasing my Christmas resources, please have them contact me at cathy@cathysmusic.com


Is there an electronic version of the Christmas play available so I can make changes or add names without re-typing the whole script?
Yes, I will e-mail a Word Document of your Christmas script upon request.   Send your request to cathy@cathysmusic.com


How many rehearsals does it take to put a Christmas music program together?
If you and your team of volunteers are well organized, you should be able to put a musical together with 5 hours of rehearsal.  The following pieces really help musicals to come together quickly:
 . . . A team of adults who are in charge of costumes, props, speaking parts, crowd control and snacks. 
 . . . Fit characters in costumes, rehearse soloists and run through speaking parts in small groups before or after the large group rehearsals.
 . . . Distribute speaking parts 2 weeks before your first large group rehearsal.  If children have a chance to practice their parts at home, they will do better in front of the other children at rehearsal.
 . . . Duplicate the vocal CD - one CD for every family or every child.  Children will learn the words and melodies to the songs while listening to their CDs at home.  Then when you get them all together for rehearsal, all you have to do is show them where to clap, how to do the motions and teach the sign language.


How do I make a Christmas song shorter?
There are a couple of ways to make a Christmas song shorter:  Sing fewer verses OR end the song before the key change on the last refrain.


How do I make a Christmas play with speaking parts work for a small group of kids?
You can combine parts.  If the script is written with 3 lines for 4 different angels, you can combine the parts and give 6 lines to 2 angels.
OR
Have your kids change hats or costumes and return for a second speaking part.  The first time a child enters as Joseph and then after a costume change, that same child could return as a wiseman.


What are my options if the children at my church don't like to sing?
Feature your children that do like to sing by letting them sing the verses of the songs.  Then invite the entire children's choir to sing the refrain.  Remember to include your middle-school and high-school singers, too!
OR
You can always pick one of the children's musicals that includes kid-friendly arrangements of traditional Christmas carols because then your "audience" can sing the songs and your kids can do the play.  The following musicals include a cute script with traditional Christmas carols:  Simply Christmas (includes a theme song!), Christmas in a Box, The Christmas Checklist, The Christmas Clinic


How do I include the preschool children in the Christmas musical?
Preschoolers can almost always sing the refrains in the Christmas songs.  If the verses have too many words, encourage them to sing on the refrain.
OR
Feature your preschool children singing a preschool song during the program or before the program starts.
OR
Include your preschool children in the songs at the beginning of the musical, invite them to sit in the front row and watch the middle of the Christmas program and then have them return and stand up front with the other children for the last song.


Can I use my high school kids in the Christmas program?
Older kids are great cheerleaders, helpers and leaders.  They can help direct the speaking parts, be in charge of the props, sit up front and help with singing the songs, play the rhythm instruments or be featured as readers and actors.


How do I order a children's / preschool Christmas musical?
All orders must be prepaid.  There are 3 ways to order:
1)  Mail Cathy's printable
order form with a check to: Cathy's Music LLC, 1923 Noble Road, Arden Hills, MN  55112.  $20 fee for returned checks.
2)  Use your PayPal account.  E-mail your order & mailing address to Cathy (cathy@cathysmusic.com) and she will send you a PayPal invoice.  As soon as your PayPal invoice is paid, she will put your order in the mail.
3)  Pay with a credit card over the phone.  E-mail Cathy your phone number (cathy@cathysmusic.com) and she will call to take your order and credit card information over the phone.


How many days does it take for me to get the Christmas musical?
In the U.S., orders are shipped via priority mail and customers receive their musical in 3-4 days.  Priority mail is not guaranteed, but overnight express is guaranteed to be delivered in 24-48 hours (anywhere in the U.S.).  And remember, I can e-mail you the script so you can start rounding up the props and handing out the speaking parts . . . all you have to do is ask!


Can I return the Christmas program if I don't like it?
Sorry, there are no returns or exchanges.  Preview a short sample of each songs and an excerpt from the script free on my web site OR purchase a preview package and read through the entire script & listen to the full version of each song.  Previewing a Christmas program helps you to select a Christmas program that will be a perfect fit for you and your children.


Click here to return to the Children's and Preschool Christmas Music page.

                                                                                     Children who are ready to sing the Christmas program!

 

Cathy's Music LLC - Kid-friendly Christian songs that make a director's job easy!

Cathy@cathysmusic.com
Cathy's Music LLC 2017



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