I’m glad I have a gig relatively soon after Musikfest. Today was at a North Bethlehem Day Care Center with three sessions. The first was for about 40 preschoolers with three different ages. The older kids were hip while the two younger groups struggled with singing along and other skills. I made the mistake of setting up in the play area next to the recently emptied dumpster. I broke out the bag of instruments towards the end. The kids were great and the teachers really enjoyed what I did. I learned my dumpster lesson, though.
The second set was for the toddlers (two years old and under) over in the rubberized surface of the toddler play area. It was much more pleasant but a tougher audience. Only two kids were completely engaged but the others were well behaved and took it all in and the teachers helped out, as well. I got out the scarves for this one and that was a good move. Lots of dancing and colors.
The last group were the older kids and it had some challenges of its own. The older girls were not going to join in and two of the older kids were bullying another subdued boy in the back. But, eventually, most of the kids came around thanks to Giant (and the Thunder Tubes) and conversation about their conception of a giant. This is the second time I’ve taken time out of playing music and simply chatting with the kids. It made a big difference. I opened up the bag of instruments for this one and it did the trick, as well. At the end, I opened up the reflection with questions about my vocation as an artist. That worked well, too, and I think the teachers appreciated the conversation. It doesn’t always have to be music up front.
Three sets was a good chunk of work but it gave me the opportunity to work on three different age groups and the skills I need to work on, especially the toddlers. I haven’t done this age in a while.
It was a good payday, it was local and it felt good to motivate on a Wednesday morning.
I’m hoping the kids will do some drawings and pictures. I will share them as I get them in.