We had a lot of fun singing through some of the kids' favourite tunes. I led off with some clapping songs and then asked if anyone had any favourites they wanted to sing for our last class of the session. We sang Sleeping Bunnies and 5 Little Monkeys, before we made the sounds of a rainstorm with our bodies in a circle. I then brought out the rain stick and we took turns making rain sounds and singing songs about rain. We finished off with a medley of Somewhere over the Rainbow and What a Wonderful World, before bringing out the parachute.
This week was a lot of fun. The group was a bit smaller than usual, so we were able to sit for a while and sing some good rhyming songs, including Down by the Bay, and Corner Master Store. Then we stood up and did a couple monkey songs: Do the Monkey, and 5 Little Monkeys. I introduced the clave, and the children did a great job sharing with one another. We finished off with a fun instrument jam.
The group was very focused and attentive today. As a result we were able to stay seated for a while before shifting gears. We sang a bunch of their favourites and did a song journey with a few different songs about transportation. The journey continued as I brought out the Sruti Box from South India. The children were eager to open the different "windows" and hear the different pitches. We really worked on taking turns, and while a few of them grew a bit antsy, they all did remarkably well allowing others to explore in turn. We finished off with a fun parachute sequence.
This week I returned to Gooch after a 2 week break, and everyone was eager to get back to Rainbow Songs. The group gathered 'round as we sang Hello, and then quickly shifted to movement. The group jumped and danced with fantastic energy as we went through song after song. Some of the kids were calling out song titles and I was happily obliging. Eventually we brought out the instrument bag and finished off with a loud and enthusiastic jam session.
This week we started with a few different welcome songs. There were a couple of new participants and I wanted them to get involved as early as possible. We sat in a circle and sang for as long as possible without the children's curiosity taking control. You see, I brought in a pretty large djembe drum for all to try, and we eventually took turns hitting it, dancing to the beats, and pretending to be Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.
We sure had a wild time this week. I found myself constantly switching gears from sitting to standing, clapping to jumping, with everything in between. The kids sat beautifully for the first couple of songs before they decided it was time to move. From that point on we were in motion for the duration of the class. The kids took turns with the ukuleles that I brought for the instrument of the week. We talked about sharing and taking turns. Then we had an extended jam session and parachute play.
Once everyone got settled in a circle, with the grown ups and kids sitting together, we sang a few clapping songs and Old MacDonald. At that point the circle started to break up as one girl came over and started strumming my guitar. Normally I try to avoid this situation, but I continued to finger the chords and she sang the words aloud beautifully. I then gave each of the other children a chance to strum for themselves. I brought in Boomwhackers as the instrument of the week, and we all played boisterously together as we sang a few songs. This was also a slight departure from my normal routine as I did not conduct or switch chords, rather we banged out a solid rhythm and just went with it.
We had a good turnout for our first session together. The kids were eager to get involved, singing and repeating after me from the get go, but it was a bit challenging to get them to make a circle. Nearly all of them kept inching forward and touching the guitar. I generally like to go with the flow, so I came in close with them for a few songs. Then I was able to encourage them to sit with their grown-ups for the Wheels on the Bus, but shortly thereafter I could see that we just needed to move. They had a great time jumping and dancing with Shake Our Sillies Out, Workin' on the Railroad, Sleeping Bunnies, and 5 Little Monkeys. I then showed them the Jaw Harp and let them all have a turn strumming my guitar. We finished off with a jam session and parachute song.
We had a fun-filled end to our session. Normally the final class of a session is filled with requests, so I asked the group for suggestions. We played through all of their favourites: (ABCs, Old MacDonald...). Then, I brought out the Djembe for Five Little Monkeys. We took turns playing before our extended instrument jam.
We had a very exploratory session today, with one new participant who had a lot of questions, and another returning participant eager to go with the flow. We had a lot of fun suggesting things we might see by the river for Listen to the Water. We flowed through songs on a whim, according to comments and suggestions that were made.