Shake It To The Rhythm!

We had a great class with our CultureLink participants this week. Lots of smiling faces around the circle as we passed the Instrument of the Week, the caxixi, around. As we practiced playing the caxixi, it was great to see the kids and grown-ups working hard to try to accurately play the rhythm I set as the example. Looking forward to more classes to come!


Happy Halloween!

Halloween was in the air, and while the kids didn’t have costumes, the spirit was all in the room. I was told by one of the staff members that not all the kids were familiar with Halloween, but most of them were, so I stuck to mostly familiar songs with Halloween variations, rather than too many super holiday-specific songs. The big hit of the day was I’m A Scary Witch. The kids loved calling out different things to add to the witch’s brew, and their suggestions brought many laughs.  Halfway through, the kids started to get a little more restless than usual, so I got them up on their feet, but had a hard time keeping them in a circle. Some of the parents stay around the chairs on the side during classes, but I’ll try to get them to join the circle more, especially during movement songs to keep the kids from running around too much. Plus, the more the grown-ups participate, the more everyone will get out of the classes.

Backup Singers!

Another great class this week at Robertson House! We started off with a bang with some very enthusiastic parents during the Hello song. One mom took it upon herself to insert some ad lib backup vocals in between each time I sang. It's always a nice feeling when the choir shows up! We also had a very fun time passing around the Tibetan singing bowls. The bowls helped bring a nice calm to the end of class. Looking forward to a great second half of the session!

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Leap Frog!

We had a very fun class with our CultureLink participants this week. The kids had energy to spare throughout the class, despite our early evening time slot. One fun moment came during our rendition of Little Green Frog, when the kids decided to hop around the circle like a group of frogs. Very funny to see! Looking forward to another great class next week.

Total Zen!

We had a great class today at Birkdale. At first, we brought the energy way up with some renditions of Sticky Bubblegum and Five Little Monkeys. After that, we found our moment of zen with the Tibetan singing bowls as our instrument of the week. The kids were mesmerized by the mysterious sounds of the singing bowls, and they had a fun time trying to play them with their parents. Great energy overall!

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Helpful Hands

Today the kids were already clapping before I started the Hello song, so we warmed up with as many clapping songs as I could think of. When we followed with songs like Head and Shoulders and Bath Time, the kids were quick to shout out the names of all the body parts in the songs. However, the call and response of body parts was a bit less successful during Elephants Have Wrinkles, but maybe the kids and grown-ups just needed to hear it a couple more times. Regardless, the kids were still enthusiastic and ready to help bring out the instrument bag, with so many kids helping carry it that I didn’t need to lift it for them at all! Great helpers!

A Giddy Goodbye!

Aside from a lower turnout today (election day), we had a fun time with our Robertson House class. We learned all sorts of rhythms on the instrument of the week, the guiro, as we danced and sang to All the Babies Love Bananas. It was clear that no one wanted to leave by the end because the kids couldn’t stop dancing even for our goodbye song. Love the energy of this class!


Movers and Signers!

We had a great class this week with our CultureLink participants. With more of a 3 to 5 age range, it’s not too hard to get the group moving. We stood up this week for a lively Head and Shoulders, and then practiced following red lights and green lights during I Have a Little Bicycle. Lots of movement! Lots of signing, too! The kids and grown-ups are really keen on getting all the signs right for each name in the class. Great to see such enthusiasm!

So Long For Now

This was our final session of the year together, but that didn't dampen our spirits. We set our sights on learning a few new things today, starting with Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star (the favourite song of our youngest member), but this time I taught everyone the sign language that goes with the lyrics. Then we learned Five Little Pumpkins, as Halloween was less than two weeks away. After that, we sang some of our all-time favourites, like Sleeping Bunnies and Baby Shark. I made sure we spent extra time on our jam together, and when things were getting a little raucous, I learned a really valuable tool from the coordinator. Before the instruments were distributed, there was some panicking over who was going to play with what, so she had us all sit for a moment with our hands in our lap, take a deep breath in, let it out, and say, "I am patient". It was incredible! I've been doing this with myself to find moments of calm ever since. I always treasure my time at the Redwood, and this was certainly no exception.