I taught in Harrow today and it was a bit of a mixed bag. Unsurprisingly, the lessons that I was prepared for went well! The ones that I wasn't? Not so much...Really, must learn from this.
We're on to a new term which means news songs for my two groups of singing tykes! I'm determined to start part singing with my older ones (5-8), which means I need to make sure that I'm not wandering all over the place pitch wise when I teach them the songs. (I like using teaching as a way to force myself to learn things I ought to have learned years ago.) We're working with "pease pudding hot" which I had them sing, use kodaly hand signals for, hocket (pass) between the boys and girls where one group sang only the words the rhymed with temperature words and the other group sang the rest of the song (pay attention, kiddoes! If you don't you'll get all confused!), and then tried signing with two different starting pitches.
We also had a big discussion about what, exactly, pease pudding is. A boiled pudding a la treacle pudding? A pot pie filled with peas? Some old Victorian food that no one eats any more because it is gross? No one knew. Fortunately Wikipedia has come to the rescue: "pease pudding is a boiled vegetable product, which mainly consists of split yellow or Carlin peas, water, salt, and spices often cooked with a bacon or ham joint." So there you go. Huh.
(Incidentally here's a conversation I had with one of my girls:
"Casey, have you heard of a man we're studying in school?"
"....Do you know his name?"
"I think, I think it's, um, William Morris?"
"Oh my gosh, yes! Have you been to his house in Walthamstow?"
"No, but he was born in Walthamstow!"
"Exactly! What is it that you are studying in school, The Aesthetics?"
"...um. No? The Victorians."
Because 7 year olds will not be studying aestheticism, you ninny.)
The younger group was meant to be singing "rain rain go away" but I got all muddled so they sang "pease pudding hot" as well...which threw off my whole mental lesson plan. Mrhg. Oh, well. I lost three or four of them to their mothers, which is my highest attrition rate ever in this school. Must actually have a lesson plan next time. Ah, well. Their version of a rhythmic rhyme called "chop chop choppity chop" took a delightful turn when one of the four year olds waxed poetic about a "nice piece of meat with a bit of fat around the edge" that we ought to throw into our stew pot. He continued talking for quite a while about this meat with the fat still on it and I grinned at him trying not to giggle at the tiny gourmand.
Speaking of delightfulness, I had a quick visit for tea and ginger cake at Peter's house yesterday. He and Gail say hello and also gave me a clipping from the Guardian of one of the Westminster vergers (who happens to be a friend of theirs) doing cartwheels down the aisle after the Royal Wedding. I've got it tacked to my bedroom wall now. Fortunately, YouTube has many, many versions for you to peruse. Here's one:
Happy American Mother's Day!