It felt good to be back making music with the families at Robertson House! Due to a bad cold/flu going around we had less participants than usual for our first day of the fall session, however, I was encouraged (and rather surprised) to see quite a few moms attend class without their children, as they were either in daycare or school for the day, with the goal of learning some new music!
Some moms were quite shy, while others were more outgoing. In getting to know some of the moms I quickly realized that in this case creating a warm and inviting environment could not be done simply with words and introductions. In situations like this, where there is perhaps some tension or anxiety, smiling and making eye contact is the best way to let someone know that you care about them having fun, and so I did just that. It seemed to do just the trick and as I was showing them the sign language for the Hello song the tension melted away and the smiles grew big as the oldest baby bounced and wiggled her way into all of ours hearts. All of a sudden they were ALL united in the idea that they could bring happiness to this child with just the sound of their voice and off we went!
The little ones that were in attendance were both under one year of age, so I decided to choose repertoire mainly from the baby class curriculum. I taught them some of my favourites: Roly Poly, I Wake Up My Hands, Hands Together Hands Apart, Horsey Horsey (lapride), Old MacDonald, Baby Shark and Zoom Zoom Zoom (movement song).
Once we were sitting I took some time to introduce them to the djembe drum. After explaining how the drum has different parts (much like the human body), I made sure that they understood the important idea that the only appropriate body part to play the drum with were the HANDS! We jammed to Shake Your Sillies Out and I Feel Good by James Brown. It was fun to see all the moms participating whether it was singing or playing an instrument or BOTH!
After putting our instruments away, I debated bringing out the parachute. With so few children I thought to myself, "Would the grownups just look at me and laugh?!" However, I decided to take the chance and spread it out wide. I heard one mom squeal "OMGOSH! I remember doing this in school!!!" In that moment almost all of the grownups transformed into child-like versions of themselves. The giggles and laughter than ensued was contagious and I realized (happily) that I had made the right decision. One mom was able to lie underneath the parachute with her baby and look up at all the colours while the rest of us took it up and down and all around for Twist And Shout by The Beatles.
After putting the parachute away, I thanked them for their participation and said "See you next week!" Two moms exclaimed, "You are here every week? This is AWESOME. I am going to bring my child next time!" To that I said, "Please do" and took about 10 minutes to fill them in on EVERYTHING, from how Rainbow Songs had its start as a company to how they can get a free CD. Overall it was a great start to the session. They promised to tell some of their friends and I think we will see our numbers go up for next week just by word of mouth. I am looking forward to it!