Yesterday I was invited to sing with the children at Stiles Point Elementary in Charleston. This is an AWESOME school with the most well-behaved children!
I have done a free concert at this school every year since moving to the area 11 years ago. And you know what? There are different children every year, but they are always the SAME. They like to “Tooty Ta,” go on a “Cool Bear Hunt,” and give themselves a firecracker and a “lookin’ good.” The world is changing so dramatically and quickly that it’s difficult not to get caught up in the whirlwind. Sometimes you just need to sing and dance and have FUN!! It warms my heart to mesmerize them with my “ancient” finger plays and stories. I may get older every year, but I’ve still got what it takes to engage children and put a smile on their faces! I also appreciate the teachers and principal at Stiles Point because they are not afraid to laugh and dance with me. (Sometimes when I visit schools the teachers just sit in their chairs and act like teachers.) The whole point of music is to create a community where we can have fun together!
I taught these three cheers yesterday:
When I say, “Give me cheer number one,” you cheer loud and wave your arms.
When I say, “Give me cheer number two,” you cheer a little softer.
When I say, “Give me cheer number three,” you wave your arms, open your mouth,
and don’t make a sound.
and don’t make a sound.
I went on to explain that children who can follow directions and do the silent cheer on “3” are showing me that they have the executive function. And, the executive function means that you have self-regulation and self-control. That’s a very important thing to have in school and when you grow up.
We practiced the cheer a few times and they all “got it.” There’s usually one or two that will shout out for attention, but I think because I explained the executive function and the positive aspect they were more motivated to be a part of the group. It reminded me that we often tell children what to do, but it might be a little more effective if we told them WHY they should do it. Go ahead and impress them with some big words and concepts!!
And I always learn something from the children. They threw me a hug when I left by wrapping their arms around themselves and then throwing me their hug. (Kind of like throwing kisses.) It was a nice gesture that you can “borrow” to use when someone does something for your class.
If you live in Charleston County or an area where I am doing a workshop, just contact me and I’d love to come sing and dance with your kiddos! (For FREE! But you better not sit in your chair and act like a teacher!!)