Yesterday’s class was a mix of new and old faces. Many of my families have moved out of the shelter but many new faces have emerged. During the opening Hello Song I noticed a new girl and her mother standing by the door looking hesitant about entering the room. I encouraged them in by waving my hands and smiling. I definitely wanted them to feel welcome. After a few more songs the girl, named Autumn, came in and joined everyone on the carpet. It was amazing to watch the power of music and how it can bring people together. Autumn loved playing the instruments and completely came alive during the parachute. Within 40 minutes Autumn had completely transformed from being shy in to a lively girl full of smiles and laughter. I’m hoping her Rainbow Songs Foundation class helped her feel more comfortable at the shelter and introduced her to some new friends.
Monday night at Beatrice House was filled with animal songs. We started the class with one of my favourites, The Little Green Frog, and also sang Alice the Camel andSleeping Bunnies. The children just loved pretending to sleep like little bunnies and then wake up for an energetic jumping session. This is pretty much one of their favourite things to do. While I had them standing and moving around I went into a series of movement based songs such as All Around the Kitchen before sitting down for the wooden frog instrument demonstration. We ended the class with a fun filled jam session featuring Old MacDonald had a Band.
This week we had about seven newcomers. A few newborn babies with moms and a handful of older children between the ages of 5 and 10. I wanted to make sure the new people could participate so I sang mostly classic children’s songs including: Wheels on the Bus, Happy and You Know It, Itsy, Bitsy, Spider. Afterward I had everyone stand up for some movement and dancing. The children loved doing the Hokey Pokey and Shake Your Sillies Out. To regain focus I brought the attention back to the carpet for some quieter songs, including Lock the Door and I Hear Thunder. Mid class I had to quickly tune my guitar which had EVERYONE completely mesmerized. Everyone stopped talking immediately and watched as I turned the tuning pegs up and down. I don’t think the class has ever been that quiet – you could hear a pin drop! We finished the class with an extended jam session and fun under the parachute.
We were a smaller group this week, but a good combination of enthusiastic returnees and curious newcomers made for a fun session. Seeing the fun that those familiar with the programme were having helped the others loosen up and eventually they all joined in the fun. Five children and two mothers laughed and clapped while they sang along to: Two Little Blackbirds, Alice the Camel, Mama Don’ Allow, BINGO, Apples and Bananas, and What Are You Wearing? They banged away on the claves as the instrument of the week, and enjoyed the jam session and parachute. Looking forward to next week.