My fellow teaching artists gathered together for a workshop, networking session and concert at a library north of Philly. It’s alway a good time to share our experiences with each other and see how we are similar and different in our approaches to our work.

Peter Moses gave a fine workshop on Mindfulness for kids and how this meditation has become accepted as a viable tool in education. I’ve been lucky to take one particular workshop/demonstration with a Korean Buddhist woman who works in center-city New Haven and it was an extremely valuable session, one that I’ve have incorporated in both my kids and adult work. The workshop was good on reinforcement but light on techniques.

The song swap was fun, with everyone doing a tune (one with an overemphasis of their stage show – not necessary with fellow artists), but all welcomed. I did Jelly in the Dish and we broke out the scarves for this one. It was fun, engaging and instructful, too.

We set up for the family concert in a nearby room and the place filled up, to my surprise with close to a hundred kids and parents. I was slotted early on and given 5 minutes. Apparently the word didn’t get out to everyone and folks stretched their sets. I decided to go guitarless for the first song Peanut Butter and Jelly and aim for physical interaction, and to hopefully set myself apart from the endless guitar songs in the program. I followed with The Cat Came Back and it worked well, and I was done.

Other folks followed with their material, some of which was derivative. (The Chicken Dance is aiming low….) The crowd began to get restless and started to filter out. Eight acts of various quality is tough for folks with small kids. I don’t blame them. I have an advantage with my years of music and acting skills, but folks are out there giving it a try.

I apologized to David for doing two songs but he said it was fine since I was a pro. That’s what I was thinking.

It was worth the time spent with my friends, sharing our craft and passion with each other.