Today was a special day to be finishing up our session at the Plaza, as we had Joanne in to do interviews and videography. The kids didn’t mind, and actually seemed intrigued by the camera (but not more intrigued than they are by the guitar, which still excites them as much as anything else, every week). It was nice to share stories and memories with Joanne. One of the staff members told us that the kids sing the Hello song all the time, just walking through the halls of the Plaza. It’s great to know that they carry the music with them, and it shows, because we finished the session with a bang! Lots of energy, especially for Roly Poly and all the clapping songs. We also got to say hello to the parachute again this week, for a final Twist and Shout that got all the dancing vibes out. As I left, the staff members said they were crossing their fingers that I return in the fall. I hope so too! I have a lot of respect for the program at the Plaza and am grateful to have been a part of it for this half of 2018. Till next time!
We had a great last class at Robertson House with big attendance and lots of fun! One highlight was during our rendition of Down By The Bay. When I asked the crowd for animal names to rhyme the lyrics with, a young girl quietly said “Have you ever seen a pig wearing a wig?” Everybody had a big laugh at that. We had a nice time handing out certificates of participation and musical gifts at the end of the class. I also provided some dessert treats and fruit to make it a party! I’ll miss my Robertson class! I’m grateful to have had another great session!
Our last class of this long session was bumped up a week early due to a mandatory full day staff meeting for Birkdale staff. We had a smaller turnout today, but we had a lot of fun. We had two veteran participants and two new ones. I brought the Chinese Opera Gong to class today, and the kids had a fun time using the mallet to hit the gong loudly and listening to how long the gong resonated and sounded for. We also played with the Stretchy Rainbow Rope and sang Roly Poly and practiced doing the opposite actions of up/down, big/small, and fast/slow. But their favourite moment seemed to be doing The Freeze Dance and Sleeping Bunnies under the parachute.
Between last week and this week, a couple of the kids who have been in the program all session had moved out of Ernestine. Though I wish I could have said a proper goodbye, I know they’ll be singing these songs wherever they are. Meanwhile, the kids at Ernestine still love the music, and some of the ones who were babies at the beginning of the session are already walking during the movement songs, and clapping along throughout. The big hit today was the vibraslap, which I love to bring out toward the end of a session, because it’s just silly and plain fun. The kids loved it, and we had a great last jam and parachute, with one of the best versions of Shake It Baby Shake It we’ve had all session. I’ll miss this group very much!
There were more new friends to say hello to during this week’s class. I made sure to run through songs with lots of direction, and the kids who were familiar with the songs started demonstrating to the new ones as I was going over songs! Unfortunately we lost most of the parents about halfway through, as a number of them had appointments. Perhaps next week I’ll come by a bit earlier to start things up.
Sharing the beanbag has become one of the favourite activities of the kids, which always follows quite well with What Are You Wearing (this week I included patterns in the song as well as colours). Because of the lack of grown-ups, we had to do without the parachute today, but we did an extra high-energy version of 5 Little Monkeys to close out the class. By the time I left, the kids were singing goodbye while giving high fives, and smiling all around.
We had a great time playing with the spoons today at Robertson House! We took a few moments to practice hitting the spoons between our knees and hands then launched right into Old MacDonald as the spoons were passed around and played to the beat. I was impressed with how quickly the young ones caught on. Looking forward to our next and final class of the session!
Following up on our last Birkdale class where I had demonstrated the clave sticks and taught them a Latin clave beat, today I brought the cowbell and agogo from Brazil. We practiced keeping a steady beat with the cowbell (which the kids were excellent at!) and each child got to take a solo on the agogo. I even taught the caregivers and staff members how to properly do the Bachata (a Latin type of slow dance) during parachute time. We all had a lot of Latin music fun!
A number of families who have participated throughout the session have moved out from Ernestine. Though it’s always sad to see old friends go, it was a treat to welcome a new group of enthusiastic kids into the circle. I made sure to include lots of songs that I knew the new kids would be familiar with, and they needed no encouragement to participate –they were present and excited! The big hit of today was Listen to the Water. It seemed like we couldn’t possibly run out of animal sounds to make! We finished with a great parachute version of Twist and Shout, and even some older siblings stopped by to join the fun.
It was great to have the chance to meet a new crowd this week at Plaza Hotel, as this is not my usual placement. They were so full of energy and quickly embraced the idea of having a different instructor for the week. It seems Steven has taught them well! The kids and parents really enjoyed standing up and down, dancing and jumping for our rendition of What Are You Wearing? During the song, participants are asked to do certain actions if they’re wearing a certain colour. This helps kids to identify colours and also boosts their confidence. I’m thankful I got the opportunity to rock out at the Plaza Hotel! Hope to see them again soon!
It was a great class at Robertson House today with a big group and lots of enthusiastic participants. One girl in particular showed a lot of improvement when singing along to our rendition of Roly Poly. She was trying her best to follow along with our hand motions, despite being under two years old. I have never seen her so focused and engaged as she was today. It seems she has been practicing! We also had a lot of fun separating the group into two parts to do a 'call-and-answer' version of Some Like It Hot. After a quick introduction and a few tries, we sounded like a beautiful choir! Looking forward to another great class next week!