Request Week & Goodbye My Friends…

Another session at Robertson House has come and gone. After getting to know the staff and residents, it is a bittersweet moment when we must say goodbye, and like sessions past, I find myself feeling nostalgic for those first few classes together.

I was overwhelmed to see many residents (both past and present) during the last class, and although it was a busy group, we were able to sing a bunch of our favourites. I was able to guide the class with a couple of my own suggestions and the structure lent itself nicely to showing off all we have learned.

Some of the requests were from the CD while others were songs from the various theme weeks. To list a few: Partner Counting, Nothing in the World The Monkey Won’t Do, Listen to the Water, Johnny Didn’t Have Any Breakfast, All De’ Nations, Wheels on the Bus, Row, Row, Row Your Boat, Mr. Sun, Trees Need the Sun, Ants Go Marching, Crocky Crocodile, The Itsy Bitsy Spider, Turtle Chant, Sleeping Bunnies (Sleeping Fishes), Three Little Birds, Rockin’ Robin, One Love, Jamaica Farewell, Roll the Ball, and Pass the Bean Bag.

After we finished the class, I announced that I had a special surprise for each of them. I told them to close their eyes and on the count of 1…2…3 they opened their eyes to see me holding a beautifully designed RSF certificate. I filled out one for each child, and judging by their reaction it was a wonderful way to end our time together. Many of the moms LOVED the idea of having something to remember their RSF experience and when I return in the fall I look forward to meeting some new faces!

Have a wonderful summer everyone!

The final class at Beatrice House

Our final class this session at Beatrice House was a huge success! The room was filled with songs, laughter and pizza; the shelter made sure to make the “graduation ceremony” a big deal by ordering pizza for everyone. The certificates were also a big hit – I think they gave the mothers a real sense of accomplishment, and the kids loved getting the individual recognition as I read out their names. Before handing out the certificates I sang the songs which have become class favourites, like: Sleeping Bunnies, What are You Wearing, Baby Shark, Zoom, Zoom, Zoom, and Little Green Frog. It was sad to say goodbye, but I hope to be back this fall for another exciting session of music making!

I Love the Rainbow Songs CD!

It was another quiet week at Robertson House with only three families in attendance.However, the energy was palpable and we were able to sing through tons of material with enthusiasm and focus.

We started with some counting: 10 Little Fingers, Partner Counting Song, Johnny Works With One Hammer, and Two Little Blackbirds. We also sang about some other animals:Listen to the Water, The Turtle Chant, Six Little Ducks, Johnny Didn’t Have Any Breakfast, Sleeping Bunnies, and The Ants Go Marching.

After Rolling the Ball and Passing the Beanbag successfully, I showed the group how to play an instrument from Brazil known as the cabasaIt makes a sound similar to when you vocalize “ch,” so as we passed it around we sang songs in which we make similar sounds: Clean-O and Brush Your Teeth.

We kept the cabasa out for the jam as we reviewed, what I call, the “one love” medley:Three Little Birds, One Love and Stir It Up. We also sang other familiar tunes, Jamaica Farewell and Down In the Valley.

After class I spoke with some of the moms and staff members and heard that many of the children walk around singing The Hello Song all week longMany children also request that the Rainbow Songs Foundation CD be played during the time spent in daycare. One little girl went so far as to say that she LOVES her Rainbow SongFoundation CD and plays it in its entirety at least once a day! How amazing is that?! I LOVE to hear stories like this from the staff and it gives me a nice feeling knowing that they will be listening and jamming all summer long.

Sleeping Bunnies

The kids have all officially fallen in love with the song Sleeping Bunnies. After doing a series of transportation songs: Wheels on the BusI’ve Been Working on the Railroad, and Zoom, Zoom, Zoom, and singing songs having to do with different body parts, like Head and Shoulders, I had the children curl up on the carpet for Sleeping Bunnies. It’s a rare moment to have everyone quietly lying on the floor without moving or talking. These kids have no problem pretending to sleep because of what comes next…..a BIG wake up which includes jumping around like crazy to the lyrics “hop little bunnies hop, hop, hop.” It’s become a class favourite which brings big smiles to everyone’s face. Another highlight on Monday was the jam session which included a beautiful two part harmony in In the Jungle and Down in the Valley. We definitely have a great group of singers in this group!

One Child + Six Grownups = A WHOLE LOT OF FUN!

A bunch of families moved out of Robertson House over the weekend. As always, I am sad to see them go, but something special happened today that made the transition easier for me. Two moms who had moved out over the weekend came for a visit and chose to stay for the ENTIRE class even though their children were in the daycare! I was so touched! I spoke with them after class and thanked them for staying. Due to the small class size their presence was greatly appreciated.
Only one child was available to attend class today and so our group consisted of two staff members, four grownups, one child and myself! It was wonderful because she has attended class for quite some time and so we had a private lesson. I blended together some of her favourites and some new tunes I thought she would like, including 10 Little Fingers, Partner Counting Song, Where Is Thumbkin?, Nothing In The World Monkey Won’t Do, Listen To The Water, The Itsy Bitsy Spider, Tingalayo, If All The Raindrops and Trees Need The Sun.
For the instrument of the week I brought an instrument from Brazil called an AgogoI showed the group how to tap the bells using the mallet, and as we passed it around we sang All De’ Nations Like Bananas. We then added the other instruments from the jam bag for Jamaica Farewell, One Love, Three Little Birds and Yellow Submarine. 
Because the class size was small we were able to sing through a variety of material, and it is always special to have the time to connect with just one child. I also LOVED having a room full of grownups to encourage and participate with my little friend!

Girl Power!

Tonight we were missing most of the boys but still had a good number of energetic girls in attendance. I began the class by taking them on a journey through the jungle. We talked about what animals lived in the jungle and how these animals would move. The kids loved pretending to be lions, snakes and exotic birds. We then sang a series of animal songs, including Little Green FrogSleeping Bunnies and Ants Go Marching. Then we pretended to sail across the ocean on our row boat, singing Row, Row, Row, Your Boat before seeing and singing the song Baby Shark. Getting back to the jungle theme we jammed out to The Lion Sleeps Tonight, as well as a few other favourites, including Three Little Birds and The Alphabet Song.