I was very excited to be teaching my very first class at Roberston House this past week. If you haven't passed by Robertson House before, it is a beautiful heritage home with quite an amazing history, and needless to say is stunning inside! We decided to hold the class in a large room off the main hallway so that we would be easily accessible to the moms and children strolling in and out of the residence. I met some of the volunteers and staff before setting up and tuning my guitar as I eagerly awaited for the arrival of my participants. I was extremely fortunate to have Jo Tamming (RSF volunteer) with me to help facilitate the first day of programming.
The first boy to enter the room literally made my heart melt. Honestly, I am not lying. He was beyond adorable, smiling from ear to ear and snacking on not one but two cookies! Unfortunately his mom had a previous appointment and wasn't able to stay for the entire class, but luckily Robertson House staff member Lisa was able to comfort him throughout the class. He had a particular talent for drumming, dancing and clapping so when choosing my repertoire I decided to focus on songs that explored those types of self expression ("I Wake Up My Hands," "If You're Happy And You Know It").
Another mom attended class with her THREE children. This woman deserves a medal as she constantly juggled their needs throughout the class. As tired as I could tell she was, she smiled so beautifully and made every effort to sing and connect with each one of her children. They seemed to really enjoy the music and by the end one boy sat in my lap for the entire goodbye song. It was really very touching, and in that moment I felt (not for the first time) that this program is EXACTLY what these children need; a chance to have an amazingly positive bonding experience with one another through MUSIC.
Our smallest participant was about 2 months old, and slept for the majority of the class but I could tell that his momma was LOVING the music. Along with the two songs listed above we sang "Old MacDonald," "Wheels On The Bus," "Roly Poly," "Six Little Ducks," "I've Been Working On The Railroad" and an encore performance of "Mr. Sun" at the very end following "the Goodbye Song." They simply couldn't get enough!
I was able to stay and chat with a couple of moms who came into class last minute and took a couple of song requests for the following week. They were amazing women, both personable and friendly. And I must say, I love feeling like I have connected with people, and that’s part of way the RSF experience is so personally rewarding for me. I feel like Robertson House is quickly going to feel like home to me. What an amazing start!