Today was my last class with the Birkdale staff, kids, and caregivers. I got to finish off strong with some of my regulars and meet a new little friend and mom as well. The kids enjoyed the Elephants Have Wrinkles movement song as well as another rendition of Jingle Bells done with body bells on the wrists. We had a high energy jam session and finished with Sleeping Bunnies under the parachute.
Although we had a small class today, people sang and played their hearts out! The kids enjoyed exploring and playing the African tongue drum. They took turns playing with the mallets and kept a steady beat. A new little girl screamed with delight the entire time we played with the parachute.
Today I passed out bells to all the participants and had them practice shaking the bells five times in a row to sing Hurry Hurry Drive the Firetruck. We then sang Twinkle Twinkle, Shake It Baby Shake It, and finished with a big finale of Jingle Bells. We explored the Brazilian instrument, the Caxixi, for Instrument of the Week and had a great jam session.
Today I had a smaller group which worked perfectly for the instruments of the week. I showed the Tibetan tingshaw bells (which are used for meditation and balancing of the left and right hemispheres of the brain) and the Nepalese singing bowls. The kids were fascinated by both and enjoyed trying to make them sound.
Everyone had such great energy today. I brought animal week to Birkdale and they had a blast wearing the animal head bands and acting out their favourite animals during our circle song time. We finished off the class with a classic Bob Marley tune named Three Little Birds and The Lion Sleeps Tonight.
Today I brought the Middle Eastern Darabouka (also nicknamed the Dumbek) to class today. The kids were mesmerized with the sounds it can make and the Middle Eastern rhythm I taught them (named the Baladi rhythm). One child found a steady beat and even shook his hips to the beat as he hit the drum steadily. We also explored team work as we practiced rowing our boat and singing to the beat with the rainbow stretchy rope that I brought along.
Today I brought along the chime bars and had enough for each child to have their own. I had them practice tapping different beats on the chime bar and they enjoyed hitting the chimes five times in a row for The Firetruck Song. We also practiced using the rainbow stretchy rope during movement time, as we moved in a circle to The Train Is A Comin' song.
Today I brought costumes and spooky, scary props to sing some Halloween songs with the Birkdale residents. The moms got super excited when I taught them a bit of the Thriller choreography. The kids loved meeting the very scary spider and the happy pumpkin friends that I brought along to teach songs with.
Today I brought the Agogo from Brazil and the caregivers and kids alike really enjoyed trying to play a few different rhythms. We listened to popular Latin songs and practiced keeping the beat with the Agogo. I also brought a special number of the week and practiced tracing the number with the kids.
Today I showed the class the clave sticks from Cuba. One little boy (4 yrs old) caught the complicated clave beat and was able to carry the rhythm throughout the class. It was really exciting for him, me and the other participants to see someone get the rhythm and keep it!!