Doors, Stores and Firetrucks

The return of some who hadn’t been present since early in the session, along with 2 new adults and one new child made for a fun time today. Altogether, there were 12 children and 5 adults who helped me “Shut the Door”, go to the “Corner Grocery Store”, and “Drive That Firetruck”. We also sang about the weather, giving equal time to “Mr. Sun”, and “All of the Raindrops”. The big sound of the Djembe captivated all. And the familiarity with the programme had the children doing an excellent job of sharing the instruments during the jam session.

Djembefola Drissa Kone playing the sumalen in Bamako, Mali (2006): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EH_fdU68UwY

En Français SVP?

It was an interesting class this evening at Robertson House. There was a smaller turnout than usual at the beginning – one returning mom with her two toddlers, and two new moms with theirs. One of the new moms came with her son who is almost three. They are newer to Canada from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and speak French with little English. I pulled out the little French I remembered from high school and asked them some questions and gave some directions. I kept the songs simple today and was reminded of music’s universality as the boy was able to follow along with the actions and sing the repeated words in songs like “Roly Poly” and “Baby Shark”.

We had some more participants arrive to class at the end of the movement portion, just in time to roll the ball which everyone was able to share successfully today. The parachute was a lot of fun as it’s always nice to see the children dance and giggle together underneath. We’ll see what next week brings – maybe I’ll have to start working on some more French vocab!

Ending on a High Note!

I have to say I was a little emotional about this being our last class. Many of these women and their children have been taking the class religiously for up to 1 year so I will definitely miss their smiling faces and abundant energy. I knew I had to cut the class a little bit short so we could do the certificates, cupcakes etc. so I did “the best of …” songs that were very popular throughout the session for both the children and moms alike. After the sing-a-long, we emptied the instrument bag for a final round of “Three Little Birds” and “Twist and Shout”. All in all a great ending to a wonderful session.

Good Things Come in Small Numbers

Small group today after last week’s mob. There were 6 children and 2 adults present, all of whom had been there before. But the smaller numbers didn’t dampen the enthusiasm as we sang and clapped to “Alice the Camel”, “All de Nations”, “Johnny Works with one Hammer” and “Sleeping Bunnies”. Claves made lots of nice clicks as the IOTW. And the parachute proved to be a big hit as always.

Claves: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claves

Earth Week

A wonderful celebration of Earth Week started with the Rainstick. The children enjoyed the sound of the IOTW as we sang “Thunder Pounding”, and were quite good at replicating it. We celebrated the planet by singing and dancing to “Oats and Beans and Barley Grow”, “Down, Down”, and “This is My Trunk”. Then we went walking, just walking along, singing our walking song. We had a large group of 17 children, along with 7 adults. 11 of those children, and 3 of the adults were attending their second or third session.

Rainstick: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainstick

Warm and Sunny @ Beatrice House

It was yet another energy filled class at the Beatrice House. It was a bit overcast outside but very bright and sunny inside the RSF music class. Many children came late today so we started off small but grew steadily. We began by taking a journey using many transportation songs: Wheels on the Bus; Zoom, Zoom, Zoom; Little Red Wagon; Row Your Boat;, I’ve Been Working on the Railroad and then went on to sail to Jamaica with Baby Shark and Jamaica Farewell. We also made a stop in Mexico where we revisited the Spanish version of “Twinkle Twinkle”. The Spanish speakers were delighted to sing that one again this week.

We ended the class with a big jam of “Three Little Birds”, “ABC” and “In the Jungle”.

 

Bright Sunshiney Day

Because this week is Earth Week for Rainbow Songs classes, I decided to do an earth themed class at Robertson House this evening. Everyone participated and sang their hearts out today! We began class with “Thunder Pounding” – perfect for the rainy day we had. Then we moved on to sing about the sun, trees, the seasons, and went on an eco-friendly journey together. It was really a fun class and the moms responded so positively to the material we covered.

My favourite part of this evening was the jam. I loved hearing the moms sing aloud to “I Can See Clearly Now”. They were so loud that I didn’t have to worry about being heard over them because they knew what they were doing! It definitely felt like we were singing under a blue sky in the room. I hope this evening brought some sunshine for all in the class as it did for me 🙂

Fun and Frivolity

Despite being away last week, we still a good group out this week. There were 14 children and 5 adults. 9 of the children and 3 adults were new to the fun and frivolity. Everyone in the group was fascinated by the Kalimba, the Instrument of the Week. Even some of the parents tried it. We had lots of fun singing “Mama Don’t Allow” (with appropriate admonishment that not listening only applies to the song), “Trees Need the Sun”, “Alice the Camel”, as well as really shaking it baby during the jam session.

Kalimba: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thumb_piano

A Quiet Day

It was a quiet day at Jessie’s Centre today however we did have a small group of focused participants, along with two amazing staff members.

There was one special boy were stole the show. He was extremely interested in the guitar and so I placed the strap around his neck resting the instrument in his lap. Well didn’t he start strumming and singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star?! Everyone in the room stopped talking and looked over. He had a HUGE smile on his face and his mom grabbed her phone to start taking a video. I started singing along with him and I chose to simply roll with it and begin the class this way. His mom sat down and we sang a couple more songs a capella (ABCD, Mr. Sun). Then he suddenly shifted in his seat and took the guitar off his lap and handed it to me saying, “Your turn!” It was so cute, we all could have just melted into the floor. His mom seemed in no hurry to leave and so I kept things going with the Wheels On The Bus, Little Red Wagon, If You’re Happy And You Know It, I Wake Up My Hands, Hands Together Hands Apart, Sitting In My Highchair, Bath Time, Old MacDonald, Itsy Bitsy Spider, Baby Shark and Zoom Zoom Zoom.

Although my guitar-loving friend had to leave before the jam, he seemed to really enjoy the experience. I also thanked his mom for giving it a chance and staying and she smiled at me and gave me a hug, which was very touching. With only one babe and three staff members we sang through a couple of jam songs before the littlest participant fell asleep and they whisked him away to the nursery.

I am looking forward to seeing my friends again at Jessie’s Centre on April 30th, as Rebecca returns next week.

Ommm

I was surprised to have a smaller turn out for class at Robertson House today, but it was a nice change of pace for the class.

I brought in the tingshaw bells for IOTW this week and wasn’t sure how the class would respond. Luckily, the smaller class served this style of instrument better. It’s interesting – in my daily RS classes, this instrument calms everyone down and brings us to a zen like state together and it did so tonight as well. I guess the Buddhists got it right with this instrument! I’m glad this IOTW went over so well today, I’m looking forward to bringing in some more exotic instruments – we’ll see what next week brings at Robertson.