This was a gig I was looking forward to, working with some kids at a rather sophisticated camp sponsored by The Bach Choir, a week-long camp exploring vocal music (and other forms). I was asked by a Moravian music professor to present a workshop on folk music, and I relish these situations.
I put together a session about the essence of folk music and community singing. I started with The Cat Came Back which worked well from the get go. Storytelling, chorus, etc. I introduced work songs, religious songs, social justice songs, Motown and pop songs, all with some nice dialogue with the kids. Heady stuff.
At the end, I introduced I Like Peanut Butter and asked four kids to be back up singers with me. Out of that, I decided to involve everyone and it turned out to be a great workshop exercise. I divided up all of the other kids into four groups and had them work on adding movement to the song, and I gave them roughly 5 minutes to do it. It was great to see them work on the project, see folks take charge and lead (see a few other kids not grasp the idea of working together – but that’s an important part of the process) and then present their work in front of the others. It’s a big step for some of these kids, and I was glad to give them the opportunity to experiment – along with me.
These are wonderful chances for me to expand on my music workshop chops and grow with the kids.