The kids were a little tired today due to the rainy, gray weather. I went with their energy levels and we sang songs about the rain, the sun, and did the classic, The Itsy Bitsy Spider song. They livened up when we did Sleeping Bunnies. We experimented with the rainbow rope and tried The Wheels on the Bus.
Since it’s October, we’re starting to learn some fall songs, including ones about pumpkins and Halloween! While we did the rhyme 5 Little Pumpkins, there was a lot of participation when the 4th pumpkin says, “Let’s run, and run, and run!” We pumped our arms like we were running fast, and got lots of giggles with it as well!
Today I brought the Cuban clave sticks and taught the kids, caregivers, and staff the clave rhythm. They were excellent at keeping the beat to the point where I could split up the group and have 2 groups doing different complementary rhythms. I then taught the grownups how to do the Batchata Latin dance during parachute time. They loved the dancing aspect of the class and the kids hopped around happily to the music.
Our class was small today but it was the most fun I’ve had in a long time! Because it was only a brother-sister duo and their mom, the kids felt comfortable and weren’t afraid to really join in and participate! And because they were much older, we had lots of fun with activities, such as sharing the instrument of the week and the number of the week, where we got to practice our numbers and colours. The biggest hit was the movement songs Walk, Walk, Walk, and Stop, and The Bicycle Song, where we did lots of running and stopping in unison. The centre staff assured me next week would have a bigger turnout since the long weekend just ended, so I’m sure next class will be even better!
Today I arrived at class and realized that I didn’t have my guitar. But we made lemonade out of lemons and focused on a capella songs and rhythms on the instruments and the kids enjoyed themselves immensely. I brought two Latin American instruments and taught them some more complicated Latin rhythms. Not only did the caregivers pick up the rhythms quickly but some of the older kids got them too.
We had two new kids join us at Ernestine this Wednesday. While they seemed apprehensive at first, they were encouraged by their friend, who kept on checking in on them and asking if they were enjoying the songs (it was very sweet). By the time we got to Sleeping Bunnies, they were enthralled. In fact, they took to hopping at every opportunity in all the remaining songs, regardless of the song’s theme. We all know frogs can hop, but apparently so can cows, bicycles, and trains! There was a lot of parental engagement this week, which was wonderful to see. Parents were clapping along to almost every song, and their kids were visibly more engaged by the increased parental engagement. It was a very heartwarming class!
It was nice getting to see people who I have not seen in a long time at Jessie’s. Some of the moms were there again with their second child and a lot of the staff were the same. The staff were all quite enthusiastic, and this got the moms and kids excited to join in on the fun. I focused heavily on Latin rhythms today and showed them the Agogo and the Cowbell. I challenged them and showed them some complicated rhythms and they handled them like champs!
Today was a hit! Our first class had many smiles and lots of participation. I was anxious because this was a new location, but I was so impressed by how well received the class was. Despite it being the first day, many of the moms participated and followed the sign language right away. Even the kids were following along – they were very excited for jam time with the instruments and even more excited for the parachute. I can’t wait to incorporate more activities and even showcase instruments of the week as the session continues.
Excited for what’s ahead!
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.
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.