An assembly in the ‘Hello, Scruff!’ series
by the Revd Sylvia Burgoyne
Suitable for Reception / Key Stage 1 - Church Schools
To examine the importance of music in our lives.
Preparation and materials
- You will need a glove puppet or sock puppet of a donkey, called Scruff.
- As the assembly begins, ensure that you already have Scruff the puppet on your hand.
- Refresh your memory of the story of Samuel and David used in an earlier assembly in the ‘Hello Scruff!’ series, ‘Don’t Judge on Appearance’ so you can recall it for the children in the 'Assembly', Step 3.
- You will also need some peaceful music and the means to play it during the 'Time for reflection' part of the assembly, plus a variety of percussion instruments for the children to play during the song at the end of the assembly.
Scruff waves to the children. Encourage them to say, 'Hello Scruff!'
If this is the first time the children have met Scruff, you will need to use the following introduction.
Scruff lives on a farm with Lucy Jane, her mum, Mrs B, her dad, Farmer Brown, and her baby brother, Tom. Lucy Jane loves Scruff. She looks after him. She plays with him and she talks to him – when she’s happy and when she’s sad. Scruff is her best friend!
Every night for the past few weeks, Lucy Jane had been singing songs as she put Scruff’s food in a bucket, got him fresh water and gave him a lovely brush. Some of the songs had been loud and happy; some Lucy Jane had sung quietly.
Ask the children if they can think of a happy song and a sad song. Ask them if they can think of a loud instrument and a quiet one.
‘Guess what?’ Lucy whispered to Scruff. 'Our class is going to give a concert in the old people’s home in the village soon. Mum says that many of them don’t have any visitors and seem very sad. I hope our music will cheer them up!'
Scruff liked to listen to the happy songs that Lucy sang, but he wasn’t so sure about her recorder playing! She hadn’t been learning for very long and she still made a lot of squeaky noises. Her mum was quite pleased when she practised in the stable, rather than in the kitchen!
Ask the children if any of them are learning to play an instrument.
At last, the day of the concert arrived. Scruff was waiting by the stable door when Lucy Jane arrived home.
‘Oh Scruff,’ she said. ‘We’ve had a lovely time. I didn’t play a wrong note on my recorder and the old people clapped loudly. They sang some of the songs with us and, at the end of our concert, we had drinks and yummy cakes. Everyone was talking and laughing. I’m sure we cheered them up, Scruff, because they asked Miss if she would bring us again! Shall I play my recorder piece for you, Scruff?’
Of course Scruff said, ‘Hee-haw, hee-haw!’
Take off Scruff.
Let’s listen to a story from the Bible about a boy called David. You may remember that David had been told one day he would be king instead of Saul, who was king at that time.
King Saul and David
King Saul wasn’t a very happy man. He was often in a very bad mood and when he got angry, he would throw things across the room at his servants.
After a while, the servants came up with a good idea. ‘I know,’ they said. ‘Let’s try to find someone who can play gentle music on the harp. Then, every time King Saul gets angry, the gentle music will make him feel better.’
King Saul agreed with the servant’s idea and the servants began to look for someone who could play the harp. After a while, they found out that David was a good harp player.
Remind the children of the story of Samuel and David that was told in a previous assembly in the ‘Hello Scruff!’ series, ‘Don’t Judge on Appearance’.
Jesse agreed that David should play the harp for King Saul and David began to spend lots of time in the palace. King Saul soon grew fond of David and whenever he felt angry or miserable, David would play beautiful music until the king felt happy again.
Time for reflection
Play chosen peaceful music.
How does this music make you feel?
Close your eyes and allow the music to make you feel peaceful.
Thank you, God, for the gift of music.
Thank you for songs that we can sing when we are happy.
Thank you for music that cheers us up when we are sad.
Chosen peaceful music
‘If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands’
‘Oh, we can play on the big bass drum’