Monday, 2 May 2011

My first music class

I was more nervous than I thought I'd be for my music class today. Actually, most of the nerves hit me yesterday, in the form of self-doubt. I had prepared my lesson plans and new all the songs and games I intended to teach, and still I wondered exactly how it would all go? Would the transitions be smooth? Did I have enough material? Would the children sing? Would I be able to explain everything clearly?

This morning ended up being a flurry of activity. A sleepless night followed by the morning rush of trying to get Colin out the door for school. Thankfully I had my morning workout from 9am to 10am, and it ended right as the mommy group and music class were about to begin. That was a blessing indeed, because I didn't think about the music class once while I was in the throes of an intense workout. I love to push my body through the exercises my friend comes up with, and my mind gets very focused during this time.

The next thing I knew I was cooling down and stretching and kids and their parents were starting to come in. I was nervous about the turnout, since I don't have a very wide network of friends and acquaintances in town, but we had the perfect number, especially for our first meeting. I combined all the kids into one class, ages 2-5, and most came with their parents. I had 10 kids, including Caleb and Benjamin. It was the perfect size. I opened with a gathering song on the guitar, and as my voice came out clear as a bell I just fell right into it.

I assured the parents that even if their kids didn't participate in all the activities, they would still be benefitting from the music. I related to them what I learned during my training, that a child could stand in the corner every class, but then 3 months down the road the parent might find them playing and singing all the songs to themselves.

With that, we began. We sang songs to learn each others' names. We learned "Jack Be Nimble" and the kids got to take turns jumping over a candlestick. I played different tempos on the piano while the kids walked and ran and jumped and moved according to what they heard. We played with the bells and pretended we were "bell horses." We sang another song to hear their names again, and to give each child a chance to "dance around the town." Then we sang my favourite little goodbye song, where each child flies like a little robin "home."

It was amazing! Really and truly, I couldn't have wished for it to go any better than it did. Of course, the danger of starting off so well is that undoubtedly there will be weeks that don't go as smoothly, where the kids are acting out, where Benjamin cries to nurse the whole time, or Caleb won't let me teach. But today, it was fantastic.

I'm pumped to start doing it even more often. Hopefully in September I can do it twice a month, at least. Maybe even weekly, if Benjamin is cooperative. Right now I can just lesson plan loosely, but over the summer I might develop some 10 week curriculum plans so that I can really make sure I'm teaching some progressive music theory. What fun it all is!

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