You know, I could do this for a living…
The kids and I are really doing some good work together, they retain a lot from past sessions, especially some of the basic silly routines that I/we play. It’s nice to have these warm-up tools to open up with, so I can get to the experimental/creative stuff about 10 minutes in.
I started without any instrumentation with Magic Penny, a tune they’re been working on. We added some hand movements, worked on some of the original movements, and worked on actually singing the song. (One lad expresses his enthusiasm physically first.) Nice not to lead with ‘new instrument’ flash bang and with singing. It centered the session nicely.
Today I brought my electric guitar (and an amp) as my only instrument. We spend some good time talking about it, comparing it with my acoustic (from their memories) and I played Splish Splash, got them to sing and dance. Good transition from cerebral to physical. We explored dancing like we were swimming, sleeping, and, the best, waking up.
The we got to the experiment, April Fool’s Day. I scribbled out a couple verses to April Fool at Village School. Clever rhyme, no?
April Fool at the Village School
This is all the truth, today at the Village School
You know I wouldn’t lie to you, ……April Fool!
I woke up this morning, the sun was shining bright,
I looked out my window and saw such a sight,
I saw…. a flock of robins playing baseball, (playing the Orioles – mine)
I went down for breakfast , something special was on my plate,
It tasted really good, but it was getting late.
I had …. chocolate chip broccoli pancakes. (cauliflower cookies – teacher)
We headed off to school, we don’t have to go too far,
Most of the time we get there in the family car,
Today we went in …… our hot air balloon ( kids – fish, alligator)
My teacher is always glad to see me and she greeted me at the door,
But today she looked a little silly, this is what she wore..
She wore ….. a hat made out of a birds nest.. (kids – pepperoni pizza hat)
My favorite time at school is when we take time for a snack,
But today was really cool when I looked in my backpack,
We had …… crispy, crunchy tree trunks (kids – a million candies)
Dave Fry came to school today to play this silly song,
We danced and laughed and we all sang along,
We sang about….. (kids – silly shamrock heads)
We followed up with Round and Round the Village, a Nigerian folkdance and song I introduced last month. The kids and teachers had been working on it from an mp3 I sent them last month. What a difference! They were ready, they even had some new couple’s moves (jumping up and down was suggested by the boys) worked up for me. We tried some basic square-dance/contra dance moves. Its really nice to see the kids now dancing with partners in a safe and social way, little of the shyness from last month. Lots to take in, enjoy in the moment and witness the growth going on in front of me. And, I got to play my purple Mexican Fender Strat. A rare and wonderful thang.
I made a point to take time to reflect on all that we did with the kids. It’s a great time to take stock of what stuck.