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.

Ooo-wee-oooo!

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!

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

Goodbye my friends, goodbye!

Today was our last class of a 20-week session at Birkdale, and the kids were full of energy as usual. I brought the Chinese gong, and had each child try hitting the centre of it to practice hand-eye coordination. We also practiced taking turns and sharing with the ball and our “special number of the day”. The kids were ecstatic with their recorder and hand clacker gifts at the end of the class.

Chinese Gong

Celebrate Good Times

This week was a little bittersweet at Redwood: we hadn’t seen one another for two weeks, but it was also our final session together (for now, at least). We didn’t let that drag us down, and our time was filled with the wonderful enthusiasm I’ve come to expect from this group! We sang through a selection of our favourite songs, and our jam became a full-blown dance party. The most anticipated part of our class, though, was the parachute! It’s become the absolute favourite here. In the end there were hugs and smiles: who could ask for anything more?

So Long, Farewell!

Since there were no requests for favourite songs for our last session, we decided to sing our “Greatest Hits”, starting with the peekaboo Open Them, Shut Them. We moved right into I Wake Up My Hands, Sticky Sticky Bubblegum, and Bath Time, and the older kids did a great job identifying body parts and singing along with these now-familiar words. We moved into an animal trio, starting with Sleeping Bunnies and Listen to the Water, before we stood up to march around the room with The Ants Go Marching. As someone who studied music theory as a kid, I felt like I absolutely had to sing one more major scale with the group, but luckily our Circle Scales let us sing our do-re-mi’s while moving in and out of a circle – a great way to feel the music as you sing! I treated the kids to an extended jam time with the more mellow Three Little Birds, and Jamaica Farewell, before rocking out with the parachute to the Sly and the Family Stone classic, Dance to the Music (which these kids did with gusto). After we sang our goodbyes, the kids got to play the guitar one last time and we exchanged many a high-five. The end of a session is always difficult, but I felt good knowing that the kids and moms at Robertson House would keep singing all the songs they learned during our time together, even without me there!

Reunited

It was nice to be reunited with my Birkdale moms, staff and kids again, after two consecutive weeks of not seeing them. They were very excited to be singing and dancing again with me, and had lots of energy, so I kept them up and dancing for a good part of the class. We also explored the rainbow rope and practiced songs such as Roly Poly (practicing opposites) and Row Row Row Your Boat (practicing working as a team and moving body forwards and back in rhythm).