Back to Fountain Hill and my Big Plans songwriting residency. We had a good session last week and developed some good connections with the kids and the teacher. Still, it’s hard with these masks, though.

I started with something I picked up the day before at a TA session – setting up agreements with the kids. “We agree” statements – short, clear and vocalized/physical. I went with “tell the truth” and “respect each other” and “listen first”. The Respect one worked well with the crossed fingers (R in sign language) salute from the forehead. That one stuck and we used it throughout the session.

I brought the Thundertubes to do Giants, and it was a good opener. The kids passed around the tubes from each end of the circle and ended up with one girl playing both at the end. Nice. A good start.

I’ve promised to bring a new instrument each time, so I brought my mandolin and used it to re-introduce our rhyming skills with Down By the Bay. I passed the mandolin around as well.

I introduced We Gave Names to the Animals so we could use the format in our songwriting project. It worked well and then we shifted to the white board to try to start on our songwriting.  We’re concentrating  on “tools” used. We hope to be able to use the overhead projector next week to keep the words in front of the kids.

I got a microphone, a monitor, and a groovy band

Same backup dancers and loyal fans

My tunes are sick, a rap music Zinger

I’m gonna be a pop star singer


I have a salon filled with hair dyes and afros

I work on fades, extensions, weaves and updos

My clientele are all on the A-List

I’m gonna be a Stylist


I kept on looking at the clock and, somehow, it seemed to be staying on 4:26. Eventually, I asked the teacher what time it was, and, at the same time, she got a call from the office wondering where the kids were for dismissal. Seems the clock did stop. Sheesh. So, quickly, we packed up and headed out.

Still, a productive session.