Get the ball rolling!

Today we had a little group, but they were all just old enough to start learning how to listen and respond to certain actions. We got out our purple ball today and sang Roll the Ball a couple times in a row so these little ones could start understanding the sign language for “ball,” but also so they could start learning how to receive the ball and roll it back when the song indicated. We had great fun diving into this new skill together and clapping for one another when the ball was rolled back to me!

Bringing Out The Best!

Monday’s class was a great success! A great turnout from parents, wonderful help from staff, and a change of room made for a much smoother class than weeks prior. The kids loved practising sharing by passing the bean bag around the circle. They were also very excited to stand up and dance around for a lively rendition of What Are You Wearing? Great participation and great fun!

Paging Mr. Sun!

It was a muggy, rainy day, but we sang those clouds away with our cheerful voices. Lots of the children who attended last week’s class returned with excitement and enthusiasm. Two moms returned, with a new one joining us as well. We also had a very special visitor join us, Leslie from the Rainbow Songs Foundation! She joined right in the singing and even provided a bouncy lap for one of the participants. So great to have her there! We called upon Mr. Sun, and had a wicked jam session once again. The instrument of the week was the darbuka drum, and all the kids enjoyed giving it a try.

Little Jammers

Today we had a smaller group than last week, but it didn’t stop us from raising our voices, grooving and jamming! We had one new member in our group today who, despite never having sung with us before, spent the majority of class either standing and dancing or sitting and clapping – it was great! Our jam time was especially wonderful – everyone played their instruments loudly and proudly, making our jam time especially fun!

Big, Warm First Class: Big, Excited Smiles

What an amazing first class at Birkdale to kick off the Fall session! Attendance was like a slow trickle into a water fall – initially we only had two children in the class – but as we sang the Hello song, child after child kept arriving and joining us on the carpet. Eventually the group rounded out very nicely to a whopping 13 kids!

Since not all moms could join their kids in the class, moms, staff and big sisters were exceptionally supportive and helpful. Each child had the necessary support to enjoy the music and activities. Even a member of the kitchen staff showed her support by grabbing a couple of maracas and joining in for the jam! It was heartwarming and lovely to see this community supporting each other so much.

As a first timer to Birkdale, I felt warmly welcomed by the group. The kids were energetic, attentive, excited, and knew many of the songs. One highlight was singing I Wake Up My Hands, which was especially fun. To wake up our noses, I asked the group what sound their nose makes, with answers ranging from a high-pitched “beep beep”, a low, grumbly “honk honk”, all the way to a wild and loud “aaaah-oooooo-gah!”. The instruments of the week were the maraca and marachita, which the group mastered quite well. Our jam songs were Shake It and Twist and Shout, and the jam overall was especially loud and fun. One baby slept through the entire class, including the very loud jam session, and woke with a huge smile on her face only just before our Goodbye song! This was an impressive feat. Lyric sheets were handed out to the entire group. As I departed, the most noticeable thing I left behind were smiles on all faces.

Maracas

Jumping For Joy, Singing For Peace

This week’s class at Robertson House was filled with lots of great moments! Both the parents and kids were very excited to jump up into the sky when we sang Zoom Zoom Zoom. One mom in particular was having a great time jumping up and down with her two kids – great to see. We were also able to find a moment of peace with the Tibetan singing bowl. Two young girls were very keen on continuously singing the Buddhist chant Om Mani Padme Hum as it went around the room. Looking forward to another great class.

Singing Bowl

Parachute Party!

Joining in with the crew at North York Women’s Shelter (NYWS) for the first time was wonderful! While a staff member helped get me set up, a couple sets of eyes kept sneaking into the room to see what was going on and ask me questions about my guitar – we had a captive audience right from the start! One of the highlights from this class is that the mothers who attended were highly interested in learning all the letters of the alphabet in sign language that they could; I’m sure they’ll be practising with their kids in between classes. Another major highlight for everyone was the parachute! It came out and dancing and squealing immediately ensued. We shook the parachute, lifted it up and down to the beat, and pointed to all the colours on it as they were called. A perfect way to end our first session!

Back in the Groove

It was so wonderful to be back at Jessie’s Centre! Having been a part of their community for a few years now, it’s really lovely to come back to the Centre and see the staff’s smiling and welcoming faces. We had a great little crew of singers today, all of them new to Rainbow Songs. Although some of them had sleeping babies at the start, each babe eventually awoke already in our circle and immersed in song. It was great to see the moms engaged with their kids and not too shy to sing out loud, even on the first day.

Working Out the Kinks

It’s great to be back with RSF this fall with another round of classes starting at Robertson House – a new location for me!

Despite some challenges with regard to the setup of the room and behaviour management, the first class was a very positive experience. A definite highlight was going around the room and using the beat of the drum to help everyone learn each other’s names. The kids – as always – loved acting like sleeping bunnies for the Sleeping Bunnies song, and hopped around very enthusiastically when it came time. Great dancers! I look forward to a great session.