Goodbye, My Friends!

We had a smashing last class at Birkdale today. A fairly good turnout, with both new and familiar faces joining in. We had a few requests from the crowd, and everyone sang along and seemed to really have fun. Our instrument of the week was the Shruti Box, for which all of the kids had a great time choosing notes to build very interesting sounding chords. Lots of moms were there for the entire class again this week, which made it an extra special last class. I handed out certificates and clappers, and everyone cheered for each other. We all wished each other a very nice Summer. sruti box

Sing with the Bowls

It was a great pleasure teaching class at Birkdale today. I've seen a lot of the children come a long way – skills continuously improving in the areas of social and musical abilities. Keeping the beat, sharing well, playing instruments properly and with a cohesive tempo, are all examples of skills I saw in many of the Birkdale children today. Our instrument of the week was the singing bowls from Tibet, which a few of the kids were able to operationalize with little to no adult help. Everyone is really coming a long way! Singing Bowl

New friends, familiar songs

Lots of new faces in class at Birkdale today! We stuck with the classics to introduce new kids and moms to the program. Lots of moms stayed for class today, which was really lovely, and made the class that much more fun. Instrument of the week was the Glockenspiel, and the kids had a great time passing it around and trying it. I reminded everyone that next week is our last class for the Spring session, and encouraged all the moms to attend the class again next week for the goodbye ceremony. Chime Bars

Mrs. Turtle's Debut!

We had a smashing fun Animal Week at Birkdale today. Although only one family participated, both kids had a tremendous time with their mom, the staff and me. Mrs. Turtle (our soft, snuggly, turtle puppet) came to visit with the song Turtle in My Shell, and she was a big hit with the little ones. We sang Listen to the Water, went for a lap ride with Donkey Riding, and moved around the room to Elephants Marching. Momma Frog and the entire frog family (our Instrument of the week – the Thai Wooden Frogs) came along for a visit as we sang Little Green Frog. Our jam songs were also animal themed, and everyone had a fabulous time. Wooden Frog

Prepping Animals!

Today at Birkdale we did a little prep for Animal Week! When class resumes in two weeks, we'll be able to sing lots of fun songs that match the Animal Week theme. We had a medium sized group today, welcoming new friends and familiar faces. The Instruments of the Week were the Boomwhackers, which really showcased some of the kids' talents with rhythm and pitched percussion. A very fun time was had by all! Boomwhacker-01

Calming Bells

This week at Birkdale we had a very small group – just two familiar faces were in the class. However, we remained a strong group and had lots of fun! Birkdale staff were extra supportive this week, pitching in to help so we had extra hands to assist the children with motions, dancing, playing with various instruments, and, of course, to keep the parachute afloat! Our instruments of the week were the Tingshaw Bells, which we used to align our Chakras. Everyone found the sound of the bells interesting and calming. Tingsha Bells

Hurry, Hurry, Dance!

A lovely class at Birkdale today. We began with Baby Shark, and some other favorites, before delving in to more complex skills-based activities. We sang Hurry, Hurry, and the early childhood staff member, Jackie, and I, helped facilitate social learning through encouraging sharing and patience, as well as musical learning through mimicking simple rhythmic patterns on the small chime bars. The instruments of the week were the Cowbell and the Agogo (also known as the singing cowbell). We played Salsa music, and all the children couldn't help but get up and dance! A fun time was had by all. Cowbell Agogo

Earth Week Fun

We had a great Earth Week at Birkdale this week. Quite a large crowd joined the fun, with lots of familiar faces and plenty of new friends, too! All the children and parents already knew all about Earth Day and participated enthusiastically. We sang about the water cycle with The Itsy Bitsy Spider, the seasons with Tree Song, and what we all need with Trees Need the Sun. Our instrument of the week was the Rain Stick, by which everyone was mesmerized as it made its way around the circle. Finally, the Earth Day themed jam time was a big hit as well. rain stick

Hands, Fingers, Thumbs!

Although a fairly small turn out at Birkdale today, it was the usual participants and we had lots of fun! For the first 25 minutes of class I barely used my guitar. Instead, the children and I sang many finger plays, including One Little Minnow, Where Is Thumbkin, One Little Finger, and The Itsy Bitsy Spider. The kids were impressively able to follow along really well, doing the appropriate actions and singing the correct parts. We then stood for The Tree Song, and then reviewed the Claves as the instrument of the week. There are some super little rhythm-keepers at Birkdale! Jam and parachute were of course tons of fun as usual. claves

Stretchy Rainbow

Today at Birkdale we sang our hearts out. A fairly large group with a lot of older kids meant we had a great time with the rainbow stretchy band. We rowed our boats, sang about who might be Comin’ ‘Round the Mountain, and were all swallowed by a boa constructor! (Just for pretend, of course!) Lots of great colour identification and rhythm keeping, too. Our instrument of the week was the Cabasa and everyone had a turn. Cabasa