I returned for my annual assemblies as Dodd ES in Allentown today. Monday gigs are wonderful things. My friend John Christie teaches 4th grade here and he and the faculty and staff make sure I get this ‘good behavior’ assembly in early in the school year.

As usual, both the morning and afternoon sessions had some great moments. I particularly like how the kids jump right in on The Cat Came Back. They remember over the years. I also asked what tunes they wanted and I got back Bear Hunt, Down By the Bay, The Cat Came Back, Peanut Butter, Baby Shark so I made sure I covered them.

I finished the first assembly for the 3rd, 4th and 5th grades with All Around the Kitchen, with the kids coming up (and naming) some cool moves – The Thumb Print, the Wiggle Worm and others and then finished up with three teachers: The Twist, the Samba, and then one of the zanier teachers came up with The Wild Turkey which he took out into the crowd at the end. I live for these moments….

Again, I am blessed to have John Christie sit in with me on this gig. It’s a treat for the kids and the faculty to hear his chops, and he also feeds me the names of the teachers when I need to get them up on stage. I asked the kids to do the Thumb Print to Mr. Christie when they see him in the hall. John said he had kids greeting him all last year, and I hope they do it again this year.

John mentioned that when he got back to his class after the first show, he was doing a section on community. This dovetailed nicely with my emphasis on folk music and community during my set. His kids picked up on it immediately. Nice. Applied music.