There weren’t any Halloween costumes today since it’s not actually Halloween yet, but Jessie’s Centre has been decked out to look a little spooky with black and orange streamers, cobwebs, spiders and Halloween artwork posted on the walls. Our little group sang through a bunch of Halloween songs like Pumpkin Pumpkin, I’m Getting Dressed for Halloween, and The Very Scary Spider. The Jessie’s staff were especially great with these songs and howled in all the right places!

Halloween Week!

The class started with just a few new mothers and babies (which was great!), however the masses did arrive and we ended up with a group of over 40 participants! I began by teaching a few fun Halloween songs – I’m Dressing Up and Five Little Pumpkins – and then went on to sing counting songs – Fast and Slow, and One Finger Keeps Moving. The group was a mix of ages and a bit wild, so I spent most of my time trying to engage the children while making sure people didn’t get accidentally hurt. Somehow we managed to squeeze in a variety of songs, including Sleeping BunniesRoly PolyWheels On the Bus, and What Are You Wearing? We ended the class with a big jam, including Three Little Birds and Twinkle Twinkle.

I’m Dressing Up For Halloween

I led a toned down Halloween themed class at Robertson House tonight. Only a couple moms dressed up their children, so I wore my witch hat and taught the group some fun Halloween material. Nonetheless, all the moms were enthusiastic and enjoyed howling in I’m Dressing Up For Halloween. We created a storm with the instruments of the week – the rain stick, thunder tube and vibraslap. It was very spooooooky.

I was quite touched that a couple moms, who had just given birth a week or two ago, had returned for class this week. They had attended the first couple classes while still expecting and it was wonderful to meet the little ones we were all singing to. I am constantly amazed at the strength and enthusiasm the moms at Robertson House have – to bring your week old baby to class is really quite something! I hope attendance continues to keep up for the rest of the session.

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

Party of One!

Today was a unique day at Jessie’s because we only had one participant and her mom with us! We decided to go ahead and do our class as planned even if she couldn’t make it through the whole thing, but this little mover and shaker had no problems! Her mom was also a great participant, so our singing was still nice and loud! Because our little singer was about 3, we got into some Halloween songs – the best songs were always the ones where we got to howl. We also did a lot of counting songs and went over our lefts and rights with The Hokey Pokey. And when you’re the only participant, you get the option of ALL the instruments from the bag, so we sang If You’re Happy and You Know It and played every instrument!

Dancing the Hokey Pokey

It was a busy day at the Gooch Residence today, so after meeting a few new families we jumped right into the Hello Song.

I immediately noticed that it was going to be a busy class with a couple of distractions, so I took some time to review some basic rules in the friendliest way possible. Thankfully everyone was on board, and we ended up singing through tons of material, including some songs to prepare us for Halloween Week (Pumpkin PumpkinFive Little PumpkinsI’m Dressing Up For HalloweenThe Very Scary Spider). I could tell that some of the older children had been practicing during the week, and it was fun to hear them singing so loudly. I decided to take some requests to keep the group fully engaged, and we ended up dancing the Hokey Pokey not just once, but TWICE! Other songs included The Wheels On The BusI Wake Up My HandsBath TimeLittle Green Frog and Old MacDonald.

Overall, it was a great class and although busy, the energy was positive. I definitely got the feeling that next week, with some practice, it could run a bit more smoothly.

Latin Fever

We were feeling the Latin fever at Robertson House this evening. I brought the cowbell and agogo as our instruments of the week, and they were a hit! I had everyone practice playing a beat with the cowbell, and a pattern with the agogo, while there was a fun track of Latin music playing in the background. Moms instantly began clapping and dancing with their little ones. It was a lot of fun and a great way to bring some cheer to this rainy evening.

I’ve been really enjoying classes so far this session at Robertson House – the energy has been continuously exciting and upbeat. I’d like to do a bit of a Halloween themed class next week so I’m hoping participants will remember to dress up!

Waaake Up!

Today our group seemed a little bit sleepy at the start, but was quite awake by the end! Since there were some sleepy faces, we did some songs that were calmer at the beginning and then picked up the pace – especially with Bath Time, where the song ends with us singing “It’s time to go to bed, goodnight,” and following some fake snoring with “Waaaaaake up!” From there we got a little more active, especially as we sang How Now Brown Cow and acted out a whole bunch of vehicles, including a bicycle, a train and a rocket ship! We also got some giggles going with The Tickle Song and, not surprisingly, those giggles continued while we played with the parachute and shook it around vigorously as we listened to some lively banjo music.

Feelin’ Good

It was somewhat of a reunion class today as ALL the participants from last week’s class returned with big smiles and contagious energy. It was a very grey day and I was feeling very thankful to be making music with the staff and families at Gooch.

We started off by reviewing some songs about Halloween in preparation for our special theme week (Pumpkin Pumpkin, Five Little Pumpkins). Then, we learned two new songs (I’m Dressing Up For Halloween and I Shut The Door), both of which were a big hit among the little ones. We tackled some songs about opposites (Roly Poly, Hands Together Hands Apart and Grand Old Duke Of York), and reviewed some songs about different body parts (I Wake Up My Hands) and getting clean (Bath Time). We took the firetruck for a drive, ringing the bell along the way (Hurry Hurry Drive the Firetruck) and rode the bus to school (The Wheels On the Bus). We finished by zooming to the moon (Zoom Zoom Zoom).

For the instrument of the week I showed the group how to play the clave sticks, exploring a common clave rhythm with five beats divided into two groups. It is a great rhythm that can be heard in many songs, so we practiced keeping the beat while singing All The Children Like Bananas. We then jammed to Brown Eyed Girl and I Feel Good because it DID feel really good making music with my new friends.

Looking forward to another amazing week at Gooch!