“This is my whispering voice.” Using “microphones,” the Ducks worked on their different voices. For most, it was a challenge to match their voice to whispering, quiet, talking and singing. Each needed several prompts, modeling cues, and parity to imitate my voice. Though several of them sing with me during my hello and good-bye songs they had trouble matching the word, “singing.” Several of them really liked yelling and speaking into the microphone, saying, “Hi mom!” The microphones are a great incentive to get them to start talking!
“Hil-a-ry.” I played on the drum. Working on self-control, each Dragonfly imitated the rhythm and the way I played their name on the drum. For some students, it controlled their impulse, slowed down their speech, and helped pronunciation. They learned the two ways to play the drum: on top with their palm or on the side with their fingers. Fascinated with the large drum, many of the Dragonflies looked at it and then played hard and fast until they were tired. One Dragonfly asked what was inside, so, I picked it up and went around to each student showing them the hollow space inside the drum.
In Martial Arts, the Owls worked on our usual punches, kicks, and breathing with stretching. Today, we learned something new: slap out. Some students thought it meant slapping their face or hitting someone. Nope! This technique is the basic way to fall and not hurt oneself. The slap out involves sitting or kneeling and then rolling back on one’s back with chin tucked to chest and using arms and hands to hit by your sides. A strong slap out has a loud thud sound from the hands hitting the ground. Each student was so proud to try it and were each calling my name to show me their slap-out. The Owls are making gains in body awareness, coordination, and self-discipline through martial arts.
Inspired by the Hero’s Thriller performance, the Owls are requesting to be on stage and dance. They learned the “Cha Cha Slide” in Drama class and really wanted to show me their dance moves today. Boy can they dance! One Owl was shaking his shoulders as he “slide to the left.” I was so impressed with how well they listened to the instructions of the song and moved their bodies accordingly. They want to perform it for the Elementary Musical and it may just be part of a dance medley. Other student’s song ideas were Justin Bieber’s “Baby,” Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep,” and “Thriller.” They have really become a team in working together and encouraging each other to be their best.
In Enrichment, I was so happy to hear one Butterfly sing, “2-0-1-2,” which was the song I taught them last week to celebrate the year 2012. Music and singing increases memory and learning skills. We shook our egg shakers and counted down from 10 to say “Happy New Year!” Still a blast to celebrate the new year, even 12 days into the year!
In Choir, the Post Oak classes have a large group music experience. The Heros, the oldest students, are models for the Owls and Labs, our younger students, who are learning how to sing in a choir. Among our singing, learning songs, and working rhythms in learning music, we play movement games to develop our group consciousness and to be on the same idea. Today, we played, “Copy Me.” I created a four beat touch pattern (ex. touch head, head, head, head) and they copied me. I lead touch movements on: nose, ears, head, shoulders, legs, and feet. I even did combinations of movements: head, shoulders head, shoulders. Though I usually lead the entire choir time, I decided they were ready to follow new leaders. I chose our accompanist to lead and afterward, he chose a teacher to lead. She then chose a student leader, A. Mustangs. All the students went wild following A. Mustangs! He had some new moves of spinning in circles and had dancing feet; we ended with high energy!