I wrapped up my residency at Washington School with the kids. As they filed in, a bunch of them gave me some hand-made thankyous and I was surprised and touched. I took note of the songs they liked and Cat Came Back, Bear Hunt and All Around the Kitchen surfaced as their favorites.
I wasn’t sure what I could offer after three sets with these kids, but decided to break out I Like Peanut Butter as a doo wop song. I have a bag of shades that I use with RockRoots on this tune so I passed out eight of them to the girls first, got them to stand up in front of the others to sing back up. I asked the kids to name the band and they came up with a good one. They were fairly shy but did it well. I then asked each girl to give their sunglasses to a boy, and soon I had eight guys up to sing backup, this time adding foam noses, again with a group name given by the rest of the kids. They did okay, but I gave it to the girls.
I pulled out Rudolph, with antlers and noses and all, and it was fun to see the reaction of the few new students in the crowd. They were doubled over, amazed by what was going on, and the fact that everyone else was doing it. That was cool.
I did Giants and asked the two afterschool teachers to play Thunder Tubes. It was cool that they didn’t quite know how to play them and the students and I watched them try to figure it out. It was nice to put them in front of their kids in this kind of situation. It broke down a few barriers, I think.
As I headed for the end, it was time to get up and dance so I broke out All Around the Kitchen and the kids took off. I really don’t think these kids have the opportunity to run around, especially with the curtailing of gym and outdoor recess. I pretty much punted and let them blow off steam. I gave out a whole bunch of Peanut Butter CDs, not knowing if they even had CD players at home. I figured I might as well put them out there.
I have two more four-session after-school residencies in the new year and I’m glad I did this one. I have some good tools from this one to use with these schools.