We had a great class today of all babies and moms. It’s always a pleasure to get the opportunity to give the babies extra attention. Some special moments included singing Hello to newborn twins for the first time and trying to all play the same rhythm on the spoons, our instrument of the week. I look forward to more great classes to come!
Things were off to a bit of an awkward start, as one of the kids was mid-way through a serious crying session when I arrived at Birkdale. However, once her mom arrived, things calmed down, and we were able to focus on songs. It was a bit of a shy class, from both kids and grown-ups, but I found that with enough variety there was something for everybody to latch on to. One kid was very into clapping and body parts songs, and another, who seemed completely disengaged throughout the class, instantly perked up for the instruments and parachute, letting out a smile I hadn’t seen all class. It’s good to know that even if you can’t capture everyone’s attention in the same way for every song, that everyone can find their own joy throughout the class.
The Redwood was full of energy and enthusiasm this week. The kids loved the songs on their feet, such as I Can't Fly and Five Little Monkeys. We also did Elephants Have Wrinkles, and when I sang, "On their teeth... no! They don't have wrinkles on their teeth!" a little girl got really into it and said, "That's ridiculous!" which totally charmed all of the adults and made for a great laugh.
We had a good class at CultureLink this past week. Our usual clientele were unfortunately under the weather, so we had a bit of an older group and their parents. It was still great to see the kids engaging with their moms through music. We had a great time shaking it all about during The Hokey Pokey! Lots of great smiles and dance moves. Looking forward to more great classes to come.
I was amazed at how quickly everyone got into a circle once I entered the room. Everyone was so well behaved and attentive, but the number of parents was a bit low at first. Within the first few minutes, more parents started to join the group, but that also took some focus away from our songs. Though our first few a capella songs and warm-ups went very smoothly, some kids started to get a bit restless. So, I got us up on our feet for nearly half the class, which seemed to be exactly what the kids wanted as they quite literally screamed for joy once I started the strumming for 5 Little Monkeys. After getting some of those jitters out they loved seeing the Vibraslap as our instrument of the week, grooving and dancing to the song I was playing, and sharing quite well. Some of the kids love dancing so much that they'll even dance when I'm not playing!
I received a warm welcome at Robertson House after coming in from the cold wind. One of the staff members told me that some families had moved away, so it was a bit of a small group, but all of the moms who attended were happy to be able to share some music with their kids. They were a bit shy to begin with, singing extremely quietly, but they still engaged with the kids and helped them with hand signs. I did a lot of body part songs, as those seemed to be the ones that kept the parents engaged with their kids, taking time to cuddle them in between verses. Everybody absolutely loved the parachute, bouncing it to James Brown's I Feel Good. I have a feeling everybody left feeling that way too.
We had a “small but mighty” group at Birkdale today, but everyone was so engaged, the class felt very full. The parents seem to really enjoy and appreciate the program, and the kids are such balls of excitement and energy that it brings everyone’s energy up, especially the Birkdale staff! One of the kitchen staff periodically visited the room and clapped along with our songs, which were about motion today. Songs like Wheels on the Bus and Little Red Wagon gave way to a big train ride around the circle, which made the kids even more eager to bring out the “instrument train” at the end. Let’s hope the word spreads for next week!
Wow! Huge turnout at the Redwood this week! We had seven mothers present, which is our best parent turnout yet! According to the Redwood staff, this was due to a Black History Month event happening right before our class, and the staff were able to bring everyone directly to our class afterwards. I received a request for some drumming this week, so we incorporated African drums into the jam and had lots of (loud) fun!
The snow outside made for a cozy class at the Plaza, with lots of winter songs like Snowflakes All Around and Button it Up. The kids loved the signs and actions of all the songs, and the parents were getting into it without any prompting! One of the best things about these classes is seeing parents get a bit silly with things. It always brings up the energy in the room. However, the energy may have been too much for some kids, because after Sleeping Bunnies, some of them actually fell asleep! While they took a nap on the mats off to the side, the rest of us had a great jam and parachute, with smiles all around.
We had a very positive class this week at Robertson House with lots of singing and laughter! It was great to see one mom in particular working with her two year old son to do all the actions to our rendition of Wake Up My Hands. Her son was laughing and smiling as she did all the actions with him. The class also got a real kick out of our instrument of the week – the cowbell. It really got us moooo-ving! Looking forward to more great classes!