Well, it’s winter, so I ventured out on a bright day after the cold front came through and gave us about 2 inches. No big deal, but Arctic wind and temperatures. I was ready for some music with these kids. I get kinda depressed when I’m not performing and I was counting on reaping some of their energy. I was not disappointed.
This was my third monthly visit with these eight kids. Usually I’m up in the fellowship room of the church, but, because of the cold, I went down into their classroom space. Good move. There was a much warmer atmosphere in their home space, and I was able to relate various things to educational objects on the wall.
Today, I decided to recall some songs we’ve been working on, and they seem to have latched onto Spider on the Floor. So we did that one up front, with new spider names, and some new body parts (every try to rhyme something with ‘ankle’?) I then went to some play songs or circle dances that require singing and movement, no simply thing for this age, but, for the most part (and help from the teachers), the kids got the message.
I did my Sally songs – Sally Go Round the Sun and Little Sally Walker. Both took up a major portion of the session, but the kids were great. I left them my Shake It CD that has both tunes on it for practice for next month. It will be interesting if they can take ownership and be able to dance and sing them by themselves.
We did Down By the Bay, working on offering different animals to rhyme with, and the one teacher had the bright idea to get down a poster with the alphabet to help them link the particular rhyme part with the consonants. It was spot on, on her part, to add to the experience with her teaching skills, and it was greatly appreciated on my part. A rich learning experience.
We finished up with Magic Penny with hand motions, a good, mellow way to end the session. It was then that I realized I hadn’t broken out the rhythm instruments at all. That’s pretty good that we had a productive afternoon without the toys.
One teacher remarked that the kids were more open and relaxed, more forthcoming with ideas and other input, and, in general, connecting and engaging with me on many levels. We’re making some good progress.
I also left the building feeling like I had connected with myself once again and it was a pleasant drive back through the snow-covered hills of PA to home, warmed by the experience on a very cold and bleak winter day.