I lined up a return to Marvine School, put it up on FB and got comments like, “make sure you’re packing” and the like. It’s a tough neighborhood, in among the projects on the northeast side of town. It made no difference to me though, initially, the older kids were wondering who is this guy in a baseball hat and a guitar.
300 kids in a gym on a rainy, humid Friday afternoon. I launched into my good stuff – Peanut Butter, Tutti Tah, Cat Came Back and cajoled the kids into singing along, picked on the teachers and created a very nice community experience. I finished off with All Around the Kitchen with everyone dancing and singing. I got a bunch of the kids up to showcase their dance moves: The Nay Nay, The Dub, The Whip along with a bunch of made-up moves. I finished by getting the principal up with two other teachers and they responded nicely. It was amazing to step back and watch this controlled chaos in front of me.
As usual, a mistake on my part led to an interesting situation that took all off us somewhere else. I started out teaching the parts of Giants, invited a male teacher and one of his students up to play Thunder Tubes. I discovered that they were still in the car so I improvised. I had each stand in front of the two halves of the audience and had them ‘direct’ the spooky noises with their hands, bringing the noise up and down. The teacher got into it and was able to model for the student. The crowd supported them and we had some great explorations. I had the guys switch sides as well. As it turned out, it became a great device for future gigs. Sometimes I surprise myself when I have to be creative.