Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Annie Bailey: Primarily Speaking, Music

I’ve heard it said that if Jesus were to come to church, he would spend a few minutes with the brethren, visit the women and youth for a while but spend most of his time in Primary.

Sometimes when those of us who seem to be called into Primary as our life’s mission, start feeling a little left out, it’s good to remember that Jesus himself loved to be with the children the most. Plus children can bring us the greatest of inspiration while showing us the purest love of Christ.

So it is that Annie Bailey, a die-hard Primary worker in Lubbock Texas, has taken the inspiration of the children she serves, a step further than most, by creating a new album of music specifically for the Lord’s little ones. “There is Joy”, an Eagle Springs Records production, is a new album of original songs for Primary aged children teaching them that Heavenly Father truly does have a plan for them and that he LOVES them. Featuring several beautiful young voices “There Is Joy” will be a welcome and gospel centered addition to your child’s music library. You can purchase “There Is Joy” online at PositiveMusicandDownloads either as a whole physical album or each song individually. Annie’s distributor is working on getting her album into Deseret Book and Seagull but it can be found in other brick and mortar stores. Go to Annie’s website at for more details.

Annie and I are members of and we finally had a chance to meet in person this past year. In August members of our group gathered from around the country in Springville UT, for the annual LDS Musicians Festival sponsored in part by yourLDSneighborhood. During the fireside portion of the weekend, Annie shared a few of her songs using some of the child soloists featured on the album and what a treat that was.

Knowing how much time, love, and money goes into an album I asked Annie what was her inspiration and what has making this album done to strengthen her personal testimony and witness of our Savior?

"When producer Greg Hansen and I met for the first time, we brainstormed and came up with ideas for possible projects that we could work on together. Through a series of discussions we later pinpointed a theme for the album. I took the theme, outlined the project and started writing. The album I actually set out to write, though, was not There Is Joy. But as time went on and songs emerged, some unexpectedly, I realized that the plan of salvation was the overall theme that tied it all together. Once I decided to pursue this new direction everything sort of fell into place.

"The inspiration behind the songs on the album came from many different places. I started with a general outline of topics I wanted to cover in the album (which as I mentioned earlier, evolved and changed over time), but the approach I took with each song was influenced by lessons I learned as I served in primary and studied about the topics I had chosen. Many of the songs were also shaped by experiences I had in my life during the time I wrote them. As I studied and prepared to write these songs, my understanding of the related gospel principles deepened. My testimony of the principles grew, as did my desire and commitment to live them, and I drew closer to my Heavenly Father and my Savior."

I also asked Annie what kept her going with her album to see it through to its completion.

"I’m a goal oriented person so I set goals for myself to keep focused. After we decided on a theme for the album, I prepared an outline of the song topics I wanted to cover. Then I usually chose one song at a time and set a goal on when I would complete it. Dividing the project up this way made it seem less overwhelming. I didn’t always meet every goal, but it was a good way for me to ensure that I kept moving forward. I also tried to sit down and write every day, even if it was only a little bit. Sometimes life got a little hectic so I would make a decision not to write for a time, but I always tried to set a goal of when I would start writing again.

"I think also as time went on I saw how my life was blessed through writing these songs, and I was motivated to complete the project so that I could share them with others. My hope is that the songs on the album will bless others in the same ways they have blessed me. From the e-mails I’m starting to receive, I can see that this is beginning to happen and it’s very rewarding."

One particularly inspiring and fun song to sing on the album is “A Spirit Child of God”. The lyrics read:

My Heavenly Father loves me and he prepared a way
That I, if true and faithful, can live with him one day
And though it won’t be easy, I’ll follow His great plan
I’ll never doubt His love for me, for I know who I am
A spirit child of God
A child of noble birth
I chose to be tested here on earth
I’ll follow His instructions, improve myself each day
I’ll learn from Christ, my Savior, who came and showed the way
And I will claim the blessings of Heavenly Father’s plan
He formed it out of love for me for he knows who I am

If each parent of a young child could routinely play wonderful music with messages such as those found in “There is Joy”, instead of just the junk food of music our children so often get fed, what a healthier knowledge of God’s love for them they could each possess.

I wish I’d had this wonderful collection of original Primary music when my children were young. It supplements the “Children’s Songbook” collection beautifully with the sweet voices of young children and beautiful arrangements by Annie Bailey. So be sure to check out Annie's website to order this great album for your family.

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Until next time,
Julie Keyser