I showed up for my first afterschool session at Marvine and found out only four kids were signed up, all boys. Oh, boy. As the gym emptied out I settled in with my four lads and tried to figure out how to work this out.

I was glad I had my bag of instruments so they would have stuff in their hands and it went well, teaching them some basic rhythms, getting them to play together. I worked for a while but as I got into the lyric part, two of the boys started to act up and I had to stop and pull things together often. Eventually one kids said, “I wanna go home.” I agreed silently.

I even tried to have them run around the gym when I played the ‘big endings’ and that worked well for boys. But I really, really missed having some girls in the room to provide some gravitas to the proceedings.

This is not working out, especially if we are to produce a song by the end of the sessions. I like challenges but not like this.