The Birkdale Zoo

There were two lions, an elephant, a turtle, a humpback whale, an orca, a cheetah and a fly at the Birkdale Zoo today for Animal Week. We sang about many of those toys during the songs Listen to the Water and Johnny Didn’t Have Any Breakfast. The ten children also sang about sharks, poor little bugs, ducks, and frogs, as we passed the Thai Wooden Frogs around to everyone.

Our Little Bowl Ringer

Though we sang a lot of songs and had a lot of fun, the highlight of today’s class was definitely the singing bowl! Our wee participant very carefully held out her flat palm in order to get a good sound from the bowl. She had a little trouble keeping the sound ringing by rubbing the mallet around the outer rim of the bowl, but she determined to get it! Eventually the bowl became less of an instrument, however, and more of a toy when our little bowl ringer decided it would also make a good cereal bowl with the mallet as a spoon. We then had a great jam session, peppered with the sounds of the singing bowl alternating with the sounds of the tambourine!

Hoot Hoot Hooting

It was a smaller class at Gooch today, but you wouldn’t know it from the good time we had celebrating our special theme: Animal Week.

I made sure to bring along some fun props, including a raccoon hat, bunny ears, bug antennae, butterfly wings and a turtle puppet. We sang through as many animal-themed songs as possible, including The Turtle Chant, Itsy Bitsy Spider, The Flea Song, Baby Shark, Listen To The Water, Old MacDonald, Horsey Horsey and The Ants Go Marching.

For the instrument of the week I surprised the class with wooden frogs from Thailand. We passed them around, creating a bullfrog orchestra, as we sang Little Green Frog and Three Green and Speckled Frogs.

Jam time was spent Going To The Zoo where we saw crocodiles swimming in the water, monkeys swinging from the trees, owls hoot hoot hooting, and brown bears huff huff puffin’. We finished with some Rockin’ Robin. The parachute was a perfect way to finish our animal-themed class with some Sleeping Bunnies snoring away underneath.

What’s on the agenda for next week? REQUEST WEEK! I made sure to tell the grownups to have a couple favourites in mind to finish off our session with a musical bang!

Animal Time

In the spirit of Animal Week, I led an animal themed class at Robertson House this evening. The moms and children enjoyed wearing the animal hats I provided and were very much feeling the animal theme. We started with The Turtle Song. Everyone loved the “1-2-3 PEEKABOO” at the end, with many giggles of delight. We continued on with other familiar animal songs, like Old McDonald, Baby Shark, Here Comes Crocky Crocodile, and everyone’s favourite, The Little Green Frog.

I brought the wooden frogs as the instrument of the week, and everyone was very excited to play them while singing Five Green and Speckled Frogs. They sounded great during the jam too! With only two classes left for the session, I strongly encouraged moms to return so they could receive their certificates of completion.

Jingle Bell Rock!

It was the smallest class yet, so I was able to really teach some things, including the scale (do, re, mi) with hand signs and a few new Christmas songs, including Jingle Bell Rock and Deck the Halls. Because of the small numbers I was able to bring out the parachute, which I don’t think I’ve done in years. The children loved jumping around underneath and I could tell the moms were overjoyed to see the children having so much fun! We ended the class with a Christmas jam: Jingle Bells, Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and Frosty the Snowman. All in all a really fun and productive class!

Always in Motion

We had a very active group today! You may not think that five kids can be all that noisy, but they certainly were today – in all the best possible ways! Since we had a wide age range (6 months to 6 years), I led a variety of songs to engage all our different age groups. It was especially great to have the 6 year old, who could do all the sign language right away, help show his younger sisters how it’s done. We counted buttons with One Button, Two Buttons, made different body parts stick together with Sticky Sticky Bubble Gum, and came up with a looong list of animals that we can find in or by the water to help us sing Listen to the Water. Because our group was always in motion, we also did a lot of standing up and dancing around songs, like Elephants Have Wrinkles, Zoom, Zoom, Zoom, and The Hokey Pokey. We ended with an awesome jam session where we learned how to play the spoons, which was a definite highlight!

Rockin’ Robin

This evening’s class had a relaxed, laid back feel – maybe because of the chilly, snowy day we had. I was happy to see a new mom bring her baby to class, and I prepped a couple songs for Animal Week, next week’s theme, which the moms enjoyed.

The guiro was this week’s instrument of the week, and right away a couple moms were able to identify that it was made from a gourd. The new mom, from El Salvador, also informed me that the “g” is pronounced with a “w” sound, which I was happy to learn. It’s something I always wonder when pronouncing the “g” in Spanish – maybe it’s different depending on which region/country you’re from? I should look that up! The jam was great today with a couple moms really playing away on the guiro. Everyone got energized when I introduced our last jam song – Rockin’ Robin. Most of the moms knew the words to at least the first verse, and everyone loved singing “tweet-twee-di-lee”. I must say it was quite a rockin’ note to end on. I hope to find a couple other hits with the moms in the few remaining weeks of the session!

Hugs & High Fives

It was a busy day at Gooch today with so many familiar faces filling the room.

I was able to meet one new child and her mom who had heard about the class through a friend. Her child demonstrated several classic indicators of autism spectrum disorder and, although I wasn’t able to speak with the mom to confirm this as there was a bit of a language barrier, I am happy to say that the child responded very well to the Rainbow Songs Foundation environment. Once the music began she started to sway side to side and seemingly became more focused, rather than running around the space.

I decided to sing a series of songs at the beginning that focused on using the voice rather than the guitar, and this seemed to help focus the group. These included, Roly Poly, Open ‘Em Shut ‘Em, Mr. Sun, and The Itsy Bitsy Spider. Then I added the guitar for several songs, including Old MacDonald, Little Green Frog, Three Green and Speckled Frogs, Row Row Row Your Boat, Crocky Crocodile, Listen To The Water, The Wheels On The Bus, Down By The Station, and Zoom Zoom Zoom.

Jamming this week was fun (as it always is), but slightly chaotic, so after a couple of reminders to use hands on the drums we packed up and brought out the parachute. I instructed the grownups to go up and down slowly in an attempt to calm the class down once more, and thankfully it worked!

After a round of high fives and some hugs I made sure to check in with my little friend and her mom to see how they enjoyed their RSF experience. The mom was very surprised that her little one was able to stay for the entire class and promised to come again next week. I hope to see them again.