I secured Eric, asking him to bring his "coolness" and his art skills into Primary, and figure out a way to motivate those kids to be all that they could be, singing-wise.
This is what we decided to do: I would teach the kids songs, as I usually do, but every 5-7 minutes, a child would be chosen to go hang out with Eric in one corner of the room. There, Eric would draw their portrait, using our (kitchen) whiteboard and a marker. The teachers could nominate their students to be chosen, based on singing effort.
I won't say that it was the most successful trick I've ever tried, but it was definitely one of the most fun. Some of the kids really got into it, and (unsurprisingly) some had a hard time focusing on me and songs, instead of continually checking out what was going on in the corner. All the same, I enjoyed it, the kids enjoyed it, the teachers enjoyed it, and I found that the next week, everyone was a little bit more focused, perhaps because we'd had a little break the week before.
The point of this post though, is to tell one little story from that day.
Our last kid chosen was a boy named Jake. Around six years old, he's the youngest of three sons, adorable, precocious, with sparkly mischievous eyes and a good-natured grin. He and Eric sat in the corner, while Eric worked on his portrait. When it was time to show the finished product, we all admired Eric's work, but no one was more pleased with it than Jake. Looking it over, he proudly advised,
"That is so good, you should hang it on a wall in your house."
So, we did.