"Let's Start A Girl Band"

Today was a memorable day at Robertson House. I arrived a little early to help the staff set up the room, and as people started to arrive for class I noticed a family of four girls who looked exactly alike. They had just arrived the previous evening, and seemed a little unsettled, but the oldest girl quickly introduced herself and her sisters. Then, she boldly stated, "we are going to start a girl band!" I couldn't help but laugh out loud. I noticed immediately that she had an enthusiasm for performance and decided to create a "set list" for class. We chose songs that would be both familiar to the group and had an element of dance (otherwise referred to as choreography). Of course we had to start by warming up our voices (The Flea Song and One Button, Two Button) and it was important to have our body parts warmed up too (I Wake Up My Hands, The Tickle Song). We also practiced keeping the beat with 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and and Clap Your Hands and Sing 123. We prepped knowing the difference between the right and left side of the body with Dat Is The Right Hand, which proved to be useful for our grand finale, The Hokey Pokey. The class certainly had a different energy with participants who were slightly older, but it was a change that I welcomed and appreciated. It was also fun to see the group "performing" for an audience. Some grownups were VERY confident in their dance moves, much more so than myself! We also sang a couple of our growing favorites; Clean-O, Mr. Sun, Roly Poly, Itsy Bitsy Spider and Old MacDonald. There was particular interest in this week's instrument of the week. I brought along two pairs of Tingshaw Bells from Tibet. Some grownups were able to recognize similarities and differences between this week's instrument and last week's which was the Gong from China. I always love to see those brains making connections between musical teachings, and although some children seemed a little scared of the high pitch, the Tingshaw Bells were a definite hit with the older children. The older member of our girl group (we have yet to decide on a name) took the initiative and walked around the circle "realigning" each child by ringing the bells overhead and pulling them close to the ears. It was nice to have such a calm moment after a busy, energetic beginning to class.

After finishing up with the parachute, the two oldest sisters helped me pack up my things as we chatted a little bit. I think that next week they will be in school during our class time so I wanted them to know how much I enjoyed having them sing with me. Both said they would like to play guitar one day and perhaps the flute! I am always so inspired by the resilience of the young people I meet in the places I am fortunate to teach, and hope to encourage them along their musical journey, even if it is only for a short time.