Something rather strange happened at Robertson House today. I entered and it was very quiet ... TOO quiet. Usually it is bustling with activity but today there was literally NO noise. I asked my friend Marcia at the front desk what was going on and she said that a number of residents had moved out over the weekend and new ones were staying in their rooms, perhaps feeling a little shy and overwhelmed. I felt my heart fall slightly only because I knew that some of my participants were gone however I was excited to see if there would be any new faces!
I set up the room and sat down with my guitar, taking my time to tune properly. My friend and staff member Lisa decided to go knock on doors to let new families know that there was a music class happening at 2 pm. Unfortunately as the time passed I was uncertain as to if ANYONE was going to be brave enough to attend! I spotted a little boy sitting in the cafeteria with his mom and I approached them introducing myself. The mom looked quite shy and simply said, "maybe".
I returned to my room and waited. Lisa returned with a long face and said that she couldn't convince anyone new to join her. At that moment I looked into the hallway and saw the little boy staring at my guitar. I knew by the look in his eyes that even if his mom didn't want to come to class, HE would make sure of it. She started to put on his jacket to leave and he pointed at me. The mom looked at me and then back at her son and asked, "How about we go...." Before she finished her sentence he was sitting beside me looking up at her. It was SO funny! I decided in that moment to run the class with only one participant. I had to read him very carefully because when I started the Hello Song he suddenly got very shy and looked like he wanted to leave. I decided to bring out a prop to divert his attention and used a turtle puppet named Henry. It worked like a charm. I taught him a chant called Turtle In My Shell which allowed him to practice peek-a-booing out of the shell, tickling different body parts. I kept things flowing with other easy tunes to learn (Itsy Bitsy Spider, Old MacDonald, Mr. Sun, If You're Happy And You Know It) and when I saw him getting a little antsy we moved around the room to another familiar tune, I've Been Working On The Railroad.
IOTW was the Agogo. Even though it was a tiny class it was still fun to move around the room as I taught the basic meringue step to the two participating grownups while having the little boy accompany us with the Brazilian instrument. He was GOOD at it too!
For the jam, I asked him if he had a favourite song and he said "Doe A Dear" which thankfully I knew so we sang it a couple of times all together. I ended up showing his mom the signs before hand so she should could try the actions.
I was happy to have done the class with just one participant because he seemed to have a wonderful time and responded amazingly to the private lesson experience!