Raised Spirits

The end of a session is always bittersweet, so today at Gooch we sung lots of upbeat and well known songs to keep our spirits raised as we said goodbye. There was hectic energy in the room, but the more we sang the more focused the class eventually became. We started by remembering the rain we had this week while singing Thunder Pounding and The Itsy Bitsy Spider. Later, after warming up our whole bodies with I Wake Up My Hands, we had a rousing round of The Wheels on the Bus and Old MacDonald. We got moving with Shake Your Sillies Out, and I was thrilled to see the moms singing and dancing along to Down By the Station. I will miss everyone at Gooch, but I was happy to end on a high note with lots of jam time and parachute fun.

Old and New

Today was a nice mix of familiarity and leaning new songs. It was our second last class together and we sang some songs requested by the students – starting with Shut the Door and later, Five Little Pumpkins. We stayed “out of sight” for Turtle in My Shell, and that led us into a medley of animal songs, including Little Green FrogFive Green and Speckled Frogs, Crocky Crocodile, Baby Shark, Minnows, and more. We danced to Shoo Fly, and everyone showed off their best strut for All Around the Kitchen. As always, the jam and parachute brought out lots of exuberance in the children, with everyone sounding particularly wonderful while singing You Are My Sunshine. I am looking forward to the last class next week, but I will miss the energy and enthusiasm of these families once the session is over.

Dancing Day

Gooch, as usual, brought an active and large group with a variety of ages and a penchant for dancing! We did lots of action songs as we sang through daily activities. Johnny Works with One Hammer put us to sleep, and then we woke up again through song, brushed our teeth, Shut the Door (a participant request), and went to The Corner Grocery Store. Big kids jumped high and little kids went for rocket ship rides while we danced to Zoom Zoom Zoom. We washed off the moon dust with Bathtime, and stayed asleep after the bath to become Sleeping Bunnies. Everyone let loose in a high energy jam (kids and grown ups both enjoyed Hot! Hot! Hot!) and finally a gleeful round of parachute. I look forward to the remaining sessions with this spirited group at Gooch.

Reunion at Gooch

I was so happy to be back at Gooch after being away sick! It felt like a joyous reunion, with some of the students literally putting the guitar in my hands because they were enthusiastic about hearing it. We did lots of active songs with actions and the children enjoyed choosing animals for Old MacDonald. Everyone singing along to In the Jungle ended the jam with a feeling of positive community that I look forward to returning to next week.

Mighty and Musical

Our class at Gooch today was smaller than last week, but mighty and musical! The smaller group allowed the toddlers to really shine, and more space for all of the kids to stretch their dancing legs. We had a special guest taking photographs and it was hilarious to watch the kids either notice or not notice the photography, and sometimes ham it up for the camera. A highlight was at the end of the class when a participant grabbed a grownup’s smartphone and held it to her eye like a camera/telescope – with her eye “looking” into the part of the phone that we usually speak into! For most of the class, however, the kids hardly noticed the camera because they were so engaged by the songs and instruments. We walked (and stomped, and tiptoed, and twirled, and danced)… and stopped! … our way around the circle. The children were all excited to learn about the tambourine, and jam time felt like a joyous moment for both children and adults to express themselves freely along with the music and together with one another. I love seeing how happy the grownups get during jam time, although of course the kids usually steal the show with their unabashed musical exploration, or sometimes just pausing and looking at me studiously. The kids were delighted to have parachute play to end the class, and we sang Goodbye to each child individually. Until next time…!

New Beginnings

Our first class together at Gooch was busy and active, with lots of babies, toddlers, and kids with their parents or grandparents! It was great to meet everyone and to see lots of smiling, singing faces around me – sometimes dancing around me! The parents in attendance were having a great time too, and during the jam at the end it was great to see the kids moving to the music and trying out all sorts of new instruments. Watching the children explore making music was one of my favourite parts, although their enthusiastic performance of Roly-Poly near the beginning of class also won me over from the start. I look forward to a great session at Gooch!

Hallowe’en at Massey!

We had a great Halloween celebration! The baby in class looked absolutely adorable in her Halloween costume, and instantly put a smile on everyone’s face. The smiles kept going as we sang spooky songs, starting with finger plays featuring creaking doors, pumpkins big and little, and very scary spiders. Halloween wouldn’t be complete without singing about dressing up and what we were all dressed up as. We came up with our own spooky ideas with ingredients for our scary witch’s brew. Along with the creepy sounds of the thunder tube, we created sound effects with our voices with If You’re Scary and You Know It. We had fun dancing to a Halloween classic, The Monster Mash. I love how grown-ups can’t help but be caught up in the Halloween fun themselves!

Dazzling at Massey!

This week we learned some Halloween songs to prepare for a spooktacular Halloween class next week. We sang about pumpkins and very scary spiders before leaving Halloween behind…until next week!

There were several new participants, so those who already knew the songs sang extra enthusiastically, and those who just joined learned as we went along. We did songs with a lot of actions as well as some lap rides, which are always a favourite of the babies, though tiring for the moms as the babies grow! All the babies loved the parachute as the colours and motion dazzled them.

Small and Mighty at Massey

We had fun singing songs we had already learned, as well as some new ones. It is great seeing how well the participants (and in some cases the young baby!) remembered the songs we had done before. Even though they are sometimes shy to sing, the actions give them a way to participate as they gain more confidence in singing. The baby we had with us loves lap rides and being lifted into the air, so we concluded several animal songs with some animal lap rides and chances to fly! Using the chime bars, the participants jammed along with new songs as well as familiar songs using patterns they had been taught or their own rhythmic ideas. This was a great introduction to playing pitched musical instruments as a group.

Small and Sweet at Massey

Today’s class included both a mom who had attended several classes already, and a mom who was participating in her very first class with her baby. It was lovely to see both the mom who had previously attended gaining mastery over the material and now singing familiar songs to her baby with confidence, and also the mom who was new to the class trying out new songs and fully engaging with her baby, despite not knowing all the words. One of my favourite moments was seeing one of the moms holding her baby and looking into her eyes and singing right to her – I  could tell she didn’t know all the words to the song but she was still taking that moment to be close with her baby and sing to her with the words she did know. One of the moms received her CD as this was her third class. It felt great to know that not only are they learning songs and movement in class with me, but that they also will have many of these songs brought in to their own homes through the CD.