It was Animal Week at Robertson House, and with lots of new faces and personalities in the room I made sure to keep the group focused by mixing familiar and new tunes together.
We sang through tons of material including The Turtle Chant, The Flea Song, Poor Little Bug On The Wall, The Itsy Bitsy Spider, Listen To The Water, The Crocodile Song, Old MacDonald Had A Farm, I Had A Rooster, Horsey Horsey, Ants Go Marching (Movement) and Elephants Have Wrinkles (Movement).
For the instrument of the week I brought out the Wooden Frogs from Thailand. As we passed them around the circle we sang The Little Green Frog and Three Green And Speckled Frogs. As expected it was tough for some of the little ones to share with brand new neighbours on each side, so we took our time and sang only one song for the jam, Going To The Zoo.
Even though some of the moms chose not to sit on the floor with us, the majority of them were singing along, so I think that sets a good foundation for next week’s class!
Blog Highlights: We had yet another enjoyable RSF class at the Beatrice House. Many of the children were already talking about Christmas and Santa so I took this as an opportunity to sing some Christmas Songs including a French song called “Aujourd’hui La Cloche Sonne”, which the mothers really enjoyed learning. We also sang “Rudolf The Red Nose Reindeer”, “Jingle Bells” and “Let it Snow” before returning to our regular repertoire including songs like “Sticky Bubblegum”, “If you’re Happy and You Know it”, “What are you wearing” and of course the class favourite “Sleeping Bunnies”….to name a few. During the jam session we brought back some of the Christmas songs and the children enjoyed singing while banging away on the instruments. I left a good 5 minutes for the good-bye song at the end as we had 22 children in attendance!
It was small group today with two moms and two small children, one being only a couple of days old and the other being just over one year old. However the energy was extremely positive and the moms sang out which lent itself nicely to creating some great moments.
The one year old child was extremely interested in the guitar today and I gave her some time at the beginning of class to run her fingers along the strings. She had been away last week due to illness and it was as if having the week off allowed for the learning to really sink in as she was the STAR of the show today. She was dancing, clapping and vocalizing to virtually every single song. Her mom even took some videos because it was so exciting to see! It is moments like this where everyone is group can SEE the difference music makes in the life of a child. She had been grumpy all day and as soon as we all began singing her demeanor completely changed. We sang through tons of material; Roly Poly, Mr. Sun, One Button Two Button, I Wake Up My Hands, Sitting In My Highchair, The Wheels On The Bus, Row Row Row Your Boat, The Crocodile Song, The Turtle Chant, Little Green Frog, Three Green And Speckled Frogs, The Itsy Bitsy Spider, The Flea Song, Old MacDonald, The Rooster Song, Horsey Horsey and Elephants Have Wrinkles.
We also took some time to Roll The Ball which gave the one year old a couple turns in a row (to her delight!). She was VERY interested in the jam bag so I helped her pull it into the middle of the room and we sang through a couple more animal songs together; Three Little Birds, Rockin Robin and Going To The Zoo. We finished with the parachute going up and down slowly to Blackbird, laying the little ones down on their backs so they could look up at all the colours.
It felt like an extremely special class because of the relationship I was able to solidify with the one mom in particular. She has been coming week after week and I was happy that she was able to see the MAGIC that is MUSIC! I left class with both a smile on my face and in my heart. Looking forward to next week!
Good thing enthusiasm can’t be numbered, as today we had a small group of five children and two adults, but boy were they energetic. We sang Sticky Bubblegum, Alice the Camel, Poor Little Bug on the Wall, Listen to the Water, and What are You Wearing?. They used the ocean drum, our instrument of the week, to make ocean sounds and keep the beat. As usual the parachute brought screams of delight from the children. And, as happens every week, the class ended with a group hug!
I really enjoyed having a little reunion of sorts with some of the staff at the June Callwood Center as I had not seen them for such a long time. I did not recognize any of the moms and their kids but felt right at home in the space and environment. It was a small-sized class, but all of the participants were very engaged (both caregivers and children). We had a mixed class – some babies and one older toddler who I had to keep very entertained to keep focused on the class! I demonstrated the darabouka, which they were all excited about as I don’t think they had seen it before, and showed them a Middle Eastern rhythm (Beladi). They were amazing at keeping the basic Beladi rhythm going while I did a more complicated matching rhythm pattern on the drum. It seemed to be the highlight of the class.
It was a quiet day at Robertson House as many residents were feeling ill and resting. It looked like were were going to have no participants at all when I spotted a mom with her two small children sitting in the cafeteria. I went up to them and introduced myself and they said that they had heard about me and would love to join. Although they were shy at first, the two staff members were very encouraging and we sang through a ton of material.
We warmed up the voice again this week with The Flea Song and One Button, Two Button. We also learned the actions to accompany Mr. Sun, Thunder Pounding and Rain Rain Go Away. At this point in the class the mom laughed and exclaimed, “This is a lot of singing!” I decided to give the voices a little break and brought out the turtle puppet I had brought with me that day to prepare for Animal Week. I sang the melody a couple of times alone and then asked the group to join me in singing while making their own turtles with their hands. It was fun to the see the reaction on the little one’s faces. The youngest child made a particularly funny face, opening her eyes and mouth super wide. I decided to keep the silliness going with Little Green Frog and then Three Green And Speckled Frogs. Other animals songs we sang included Baby Shark, Old MacDonald, The Itsy Bitsy Spider and The Ants Go Marching.
We also took turns Rolling The Ball practicing sharing with one another.
For IOTW I showed the group the Ocean Drum. The oldest child was very concerned about how I brought it on the TTC and I explained to her that indeed I did end up playing it for a couple of curious commuters. As we passed it around we Listened To The Water naming animals that we saw along with way.
We jammed to one of my favourite songs, Rockin’ Robin and Three Little Birds which rounded off the animal theme nicely.
The parachute was (as always) a highlight for the group and we sang along to Hush Little Rooster as we took the parachute up and down gently.
Although our numbers were small, the energy was positive and for thank I am always thankful! Until next time.
Today the children were especially energetic. I’m not sure if it was the time change or the Halloween candy but something was definitely in the air! From the first strum of “Hello” all the children were up on their feet dancing and singing. I soon realized that sitting down wasn’t really in the cards so I went with the flow and started singing mostly movement based songs like: “Shake your sillies out”, “Hokey Pokey” and circle/movement songs like: “Zoom, Zoom, Zoom”, “walk and stop”. We then continued with “Johnny works with one hammer” and “Sleeping Bunnies”. They happily “slept” on the carpet until the much anticipated hop, hop, hop! We probably did this song for a good 8 minutes before moving on. Again, using T-rex, Eggs, and Crocodiles in the place of bunnies. It was a very energetic and exciting class.