Wake up!!

Today I noticed that the kids and caregivers had low energy so we started off the class with some high energy, Wake Up songs and songs where the kids could jump and move their bodies. It worked like a charm. The kids enjoyed the special instrument of the week, the Peruvian Spin Drum and we practiced songs that helped them keep a beat and learn the difference between single time and double time.


Perfect Percussion!

I am consistently amazed by how great the rhythmic skills of this group are. Though the jam session was a bit overwhelmingly loud today, both parents and children alike were not only playing their instruments in time, but adding creative flourishes and counter rhythms. Next time around, I’ll work some dynamics into the songs to tame the volume, but in general I am overjoyed to see the kids interacting with the music so passionately.

Right on the Beat!!

Today I challenged the caregivers and children to do a call and response percussion session. In this challenge, I tapped out a beat and they had to repeat it. I went from easy rhythms to more difficult, complicated ones, and they handled it like champs! I have a very musical, rhythmic group, indeed! The kids had a lot of fun playing the drums today and everyone treated their instruments well.

Dance Party!

Wednesday’s class fell during an unprecedented heat wave, but that didn’t hurt anybody’s energy. In fact, the class was jumping around even more than usual. It seemed like at least one person was standing up to dance, regardless of the song. The Hokey Pokey was a highlight of the evening, with parents delighting in the collective dancing. That dancing energy made the jam session a little bit hectic, but Twist and Shout brought everybody back into focus, and even had a few passers by singing in the hall. Whether dancing, clapping, or jamming, I’m consistently impressed by the kids’ sense of rhythm. It’s wonderful to see.


This week’s class at Robertson House was full of positive energy. We had some returning participants and new ones as well. I was very impressed with the eagerness of the young ones to master all the hand actions while we were singing. Awesome clapping skills! I particularly enjoyed one moment while singing Lion Sleeps Tonight. A young girl put a lot of effort into singing way up high for the “Oooooooo-weee-ooo” part of the song. Always nice to have some help from the crowd on that part! Looking forward to another great class next week!

Gettin’ in the Groove

We had a great time getting into the groove both musically and in terms of the structure of our class today! Some of the members of our class had a hard time sitting for the first bit, so we brought in lots of standing and moving songs. However, sitting for the Instrument of the Week and our jam time was no trouble at all! Our group was right into making their own sounds and music!

Old and New Friends

The fall session at Ernestine got off to a very positive start, with a number of kids and parents who remembered the songs from the spring session. Everyone was participating right off the bat, clapping along to the songs and calling out certain lines in advance. A number of requests for car-themed songs were shouted out (and one for a “human song”), which made Wheels on the Bus a big hit. We’re in a new room at Ernestine, which is a little more spacious and more comfortable for the parents. Can’t wait until the next class!

Music is a Universal Language!

It’s so good to be back at Robertson House! We had a great class today with a lively bunch of families. I was eager to learn all the names of the participants as they came in. As I went around the room, one mom informed me that her daughter spoke only French and may not understand everything in class – that’s ok! That same girl was probably the most eager participant throughout the class. She was singing and doing actions despite her language barrier, which was so nice to see. Music truly is a universal language! It was nice to see some siblings in the class as well – always good to sing with family. Looking forward to next week’s class!

We’re Back!!

It was nice to be reunited with my Birkdale moms, staff and kids again after a whole summer off. The ones that were still there were very excited to be singing and dancing again with me. There were lots of new kids and moms that I met for the first time today. We had a good sized group and they were well behaved. I introduced them to all the different instruments in the bag and went over how to care for them. The kids enjoyed the special instrument of the week, the Chinese Gong, and took turns smashing it to their delight!

Chinese Gong