A Fond Farewell

We finished off our session on the circle carpet where it began, but with new familiar faces and more engaged parents. Even Daniel, one of the shy ones who often refused to participate, joined in clapping a few times, and I even saw some smiles. The best part of the class was seeing the parents engaging with the kids and encouraging them at times when they weren’t being super responsive. Though this group occasionally had challenges in terms of participation, seeing the connection between parents and kids via music is ultimately a goal met. The kids loved their final gifts, too, and were all happily high fiving me in the end.

Big Comfy Couch

It was nice to see parents coming out consistently after a few poor attendance weeks. They’re still a bit shy, as are some of the kids, but the very engaged ones help carry us through the songs, and set a good example. I tried to throw in as many vocal encouragements for the grown-ups to participate, and they started to work towards the end, but hopefully in time everybody will be able to be into the swing of things right off the bat. I think next week I’ll switch to the carpet on the other side of the room, as the big couch near the current carpet can be a bit distracting. Though the kids seem to be having a great time on the couch, it would be better if everyone was having a good time in the circle together.

More Parents!

The staff at Birkdale really worked hard to get the parents to stick around for our session on Thursday. I really appreciated it, as it made both my job and their jobs much easier, and allowed everyone to focus on the music more. Unfortunately, we had one child who was particularly… scream-y, which overwhelmed things at times, but luckily his mother was there. I imagine things would have been much more difficult without her. It took a bit of time to get the parents to sing, but a few gentle encouragements certainly helped. Though most of the kids aren’t singing along yet, they’re responding quite well to the hand motions. Hopefully they’ll be singing along soon.

Surprise Guests!

Things started off a little sparsely today, with only one parent, but she was enthusiastic and responded well to encouragement when one of her kids was being a bit shy. Gradually, with enough enthusiasm from the grown-ups, he started to participate a bit more (and the other kids were fully engaged the whole way through). The big change came when a whole group of kids showed up about halfway through class, just in time for sharing, IOTW, and the jam. It was the perfect time to have a lot more bodies and voices in the room, but next time the perfect time would be for the whole class!

Turtle in My Shell

There was a bit of a mix of enthusiasm to start things off at Birkdale. Some kids ran to sit in the circle as soon as I arrived, but others were a bit more shy. One seemed reluctant to participate, and wouldn’t join us in the circle, so I encouraged his mom to participate even more to set an example for him. The more she sang, the more she clearly enjoyed being in the program. It’s always great to have more people actively singing, as it brings the energy of the room up in general, but it didn’t seem to translate to the shy one. That’s okay though; the music is for everyone, and now his mom will have lots of songs to sing to him until next week. Hopefully soon everyone will be out of their shell.

On the Upswing

Things started off a bit patchy today, as some of the parents were in and out of the room for the first little bit of class. Luckily the staff were very engaged and helped keep things focused. However, there were some tears, and some excursions around the room, which had one of the parents talking to her child and telling him to focus on the music. I encouraged the grown-ups to lead by example and engage in the music as much as possible, and sure enough, by the end of the class, we went from tears to smiles and laughter, and the kids wanted even more songs. Hopefully we can start with that kind of energy next week!

Turtle Time!

We had a great class at Birkdale today with great attendance. The kids, parents and staff were so welcoming and excited to be singing. We had a really cute moment when we brought out a turtle puppet and the kids were anxiously waiting for “Timothy the Turtle” to come out of his shell. I was happy to see some really excited faces when we started to play peek-a-boo with the turtle. Lots of fun!

Welcome Back!

The RSF homecoming at Birkdale was a bit smaller than average, due to a larger than average case of the sniffles, but there was still fun to be had all around! The staff at Birkdale were committed to getting more folks to come out, and made several announcements around the building. Though we started with only two kids, they were excited to sing and even more excited to clap and dance! People gradually filtered in throughout the class. One parent came with his daughters who were slightly older, but were completely engaged. One of the kids had special needs, and her dad was very helpful with her, while the Birkdale staff were able to attend to the kids whose parents weren’t able to make it. Hopefully we’ll see more parents out next time!

Goodbye My Friends!

The last class of the session at Birkdale was full of energy and positivity, with lots of spring sunshine coming in through the windows. Though the kids weren’t the most focused during The Hello SongRoly Poly worked its magic, and from that point on everyone was engaged with the music and actions. We went on a bus ride, a rowboat ride, and a rocket ship ride. We turned into sharks, frogs, and monkeys. But at the end of the day it seems like Put Your Finger in the Air is the fan favourite at Birkdale. Hopefully I’ll be able to come back soon and sing it with everybody again!

Small But Very Mighty

Even though the class was surprisingly small today, the kids who did show up had more than enough energy for the whole room. They also played very well with each other, much to the delight of their mothers. During Sleeping Bunnies they both cuddled each other while lying down on the ground, and similarly spun and walked and jumped together during songs like Walk and Stop. However, one of the kids had to leave early, which meant a private class for the one who remained. He was as excited as could be! By that time what remained was the instrument of the week and jam, so I took the opportunity to go through all the instruments in the jam bag with him one by one, though he seemed most interested in the drum. Hopefully next week we’ll have a larger group!