Trying something new for the second time is usually a little bit easier because of knowing expectations and familiarity of what will happen. Last week, only M. Seals tried following the pace of the metronome by swinging his arms. Today, all the Seals tried swinging their arms to the beat and even saying, “tick tock, tick tock.” I was impressed with how they did their best to follow the click of the metronome at several different speeds. We did the nursery rhyme, “Hickory Dickory Dock,” this time with the clock striking two and the Seals said, “boo.” Our metronome activity works those motor neurons and helps them develop coordination, self-control, and focus.
This is the time of year when Chinese people start preparations for Chinese New Year (January 23, 2012). I created a reading/writing worksheet for the Post Oak classes and tried it out on the Mustangs first. We worked through some of the vocabulary and talked about lunar calendar (based on the moon’s rotation around earth) and firecracker decorations. Then we discussed things to do for before the New Year. I shared that I got my hair cut for the new year and they wrote their answer of what they are going to do. To end the class, we played loudly on drums and cymbals to scare away evil spirits and bad luck!
In the Heros class, I shared the worksheet and had individuals read each of the “Things to do before New Year’s.” We discussed what it means and how to do each item. Craving for instrument play, we pulled out the drums and cymbals. It was the Heros first time with the cymbals and they were nervous about the volume of the cymbals. I showed them how to play with control and to stop the sound by placing the cymbals on their stomach. I played some traditional rhythms and they copied me. Then I let some of the students create two rhythmic patterns for the group to copy. They enjoyed the patterned music we created. One student even had the idea for everyone to pass their instrument to the left to try a new instrument during her turn. We certainly played loudly enough to scare away the evil spirits! Great self-confidence and flexibility skills were displayed by all students in choosing instruments, switching instruments, and leading the group.