Our last class at ARISE last night was very special. I could tell the moms and the children were sad to hear that it was coming to an end. I tried out some new tunes last night that the group adored, such as What Are You Wearing?, Shut the Door, and Tingalayo. Furthermore, the instrument of the week, the Ting Shaw Bells, was received with awe and curiosity! In discussion with the co-ordinator after the program, I found out that two new children who attended the class yesterday had only just arrived at the shelter the night before. They were scared and shy when they arrived yesterday, but they opened up and really relaxed during the music class. This was so meaningful to hear!! This shelter has a wonderful community and I really hope to be able to continue here in the future. The co-ordinator spoke very highly of the program, saying it's the best program she's seen to date, and that it made everyone happy and open up! What a gift to be able to be a part of this :)
This week’s class we had a smaller group but it was lively as always. Two of the children who normally attend were absent. The group enjoyed singing and learning the signs for Mister Sun and Listen to the Water, as well as jamming to All the Babies Love Bananas, during which the moms drummed along with enthusiasm! The children also enjoyed Sleeping Bunnies with the parachute, and dancing to Celebrate by Kool and the Gang. When I mentioned that we only have one class left the mothers seemed sad to hear this and said that it’s gone by so fast. It’s become a very well-loved program (on my end as well!)
This week’s class started off a little slow as parents were still arriving to the shelter and another parent had a previous commitment. We started about 25 minutes after we were slated to start. However, when the class got going it was full of energy! We got up on our feet to Shake Your Sillies Out and The Hokey Pokey, and one mother in particular was dancing up a storm and encouraging her daughter to join in. Her daughter, who has special needs, spoke out loud in the class for the first time as well. Some other highlights: the chime bars as our Instrument of the Week, sticking our tongues out during The Little Green Frog, and the parachute.
This week's class started with only two mothers and their little babies (and they loved it!), but as the class progressed other families joined in. They loved Wake Up, as well as more familiar songs such as Row Row Row Your Boat and Down by the Station. They also loved the instrument jam and one mother was quite the pro at the tambourine. The parachute was also a huge hit and we had a big parachute dance party to Can't Stop The Feeling, with a couple bigger kids joining in on the fun. One child with special needs particularly loves the class, and it's nice to hear the shelter co-ordinator say that this child totally opens up when she hears music!
Our first class at ARISE was very well received by everyone! They were singing along instantly and got up several times to dance, moms included. One mom also brought a small keyboard to jam along with me and played along during some songs. Highlights included Ring around the Rosy which was a group request, jamming to Twist and Shout, and the parachute.