I returned to the Paley Early Childhood Center where RockRoots had played a couple of weeks ago for the older kids. This group was the 4, 5 and 6 year-olds and we were in the gym for two sets.

The groups were about 60 or so with 10 teachers so I gambled that I could do it unplugged, with mixed success. It was particularly loud in the room and actually had to stop the first show early on to go over and ask a couple of teachers not to converse while I was playing. Major sound distraction. But, they complied.

The sessions were fun, but a little scattered due to the young ages. But the kids hung in there and we had a good time. Five Little Monkeys was a good opener, immediately engaging the kids, though it descended into loud shouting. I was willing to put up with that in order to win them over early. Tutti Tah, We Gave Names, Bear Hunt, Peanut Butter and Jelly, I Wanna Be a Dog, and a final chaotic dance tune with the bag of instruments (first set) and scarves (second set).

I still have a hard time winning over some of the younger African-American teachers, some of whom rarely smile while I’m performing. I can’t always figure it out but I gotta do what I do and hope that they respect me for that.

During the first set, one young boy melted down into a loud crying fit and sat in the back with a couple of teachers. He never came out of it and I had to deal with this deafening sound for the last half hour of the set. The acoustics of this gym were incredibly horrible, between the idle chatter and the screaming kid, I was spent at the end of the two sets.

I was glad to finish up and head home. Still, a good gig.