Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Our Ladys Primary School

Oddly- spelled correctly in the title, but not anywhere else the school has been mentioned.

Heather and I finished up our three week stint there on Monday and wow! That went much better than we expected! Last week the kids were extraordinarily difficult to manage/focus and I was more than a little concerned that we weren't going to be able to pull off having a performance with these kids. Arriving this week was an effort because various construction projects were jamming up the Northern line. A 15 minute journey took me nearly an hour. However, when I arrived at the school Heather was already warming them up and they were focused and engaged little angels.

We practiced the song and the hand motions, practiced the percussion bits, practiced various entrances and cutting off as a group. We asked them what order they thought the performance should be and then sent them off on their break.

After break we set up in their cafeteria/gym/hall and the rest of the school tromped in. The kids were glorious, they sat quietly until they were meant to play, when they sang it was with full voices and they were better at hitting the notes than I was, they all hit the final note together without any stragglers and the audience even danced a bit in their seats.

Our year 3 kids really loved the song "kalele" which is an African welcome song so we decided to add that song to the performance as well, even though obviously the kids didn't write it themselves... but whatever- we chose a couple of kids to sing the lead parts, a couple of kids to do part of the drumming with me, and then Heather got the whole audience to sing along. It was incredibly successful.

So I'm converted now. I believe that having a performance aspect really *is* an important part of these workshops. There is something about the experience of performing in front of an audience that brings out qualities that aren't necessarily there without the audience and I'm so pleased the these year 3 kids got to experience that.


Mom said...

the performance aspect was always really important to you, particularly when you were younger and struggling with learning your instrument. I found the same thing for myself with ballet classes when I was little. Among other things the performance gives you a clear goal and immediate feedback. Glad to hear the workshop went so well
love, mom

Anonymous said...

Guess who likes Teaching?? and is very good at it. Glad it worked out so well. Congratulations to you and Heather! Love G&G