An interesting gig was offered to me recently; a one-day camp for diabetes-1 kids and families at Cedar Crest College on Sunday: CampConnecT1D. The pay scale was quite lucrative and I figured I could do it well. The theme was health and mental welfare through music. Right up my alley. There were about 15 kids with their parents. The local radio station B101 was there, as well.
I was asked to do two hours but negotiated for an hour and a half, considering our collective attention span. I followed Dr. David Holland’s presentation, spotlighting how the arts can affect emotions, which fit in nicely later on in my show.
I was set up under a big balloon arch, with pillows for the kids and chairs for the adults/parents. A few blow-up guitars, mikes, keyboards were scattered about, and, as I started with I Like Peanut Butter, I encouraged the kids to take a lead on the props. They did and instantly came out of their shells. I followed with Tutti Tah, encouraging the adults to participate. We were on our way. Tropical Vacation, Down By the Bay, Giants, Branching Out, We Gave Names to the Animals (with shakers) and more.
As we headed into the home stretch, I broke out the scarves and we explore emotions, with Dr. Holland coming up and demonstrating being vexed, one of the more curious emotions brought up by the kids. We then did some scarf-art with the alphabet and followed with Jelly in the Dish, with kids (and, eventually parents, nurses and staff joining in) dancing, tossing scarves in the air, and sharing them with each other. I’ve been doing this exercise quite often recently with great effect as a closer.
I took time at the end to reflect on what the kids, and then the adults, liked about the show. This is a great was for folks to vocalize and establish a vocabulary on the arts experience. This was wonderful, as well.
Pizza and hoagies followed and I got to talk with some of the nurses and Dr. Holland about the session. They loved it. I picked up the check (with a 10% tip) and drove back home feeling fairly righteous about the event and my part in it. And I got paid well.