Week Seven - The Wizard of Oz
This was the last week of the first half of term and when we walked into Green Class, two children enthusiastically punched the air and said "Yeah!" Another said, "When I heard you were coming in, I was so happy."
David played a number game with the children - asking them to repeat a random sequence of numbers. This proved quite difficult, but when the numbers were put to a major scale and created a tune, they found the sequence much easier to remember.
David asked the children what they had learnt about singing over the last 6 weeks; many talked about breathing low and making their stomachs go outwards - which now most of them have mastered. Some mentioned being able to sing both low and high notes and several remembered that you cannot hum whilst holding your nose.
It was this week that the little boy who in week 1 had not even wanted to hold the Songbook SANG and he sang beautifully and with a smile on his face, which, of course, put a big smile on mine.
After a fantastic rendition of Edelweiss from Turquoise class a boy shouted out "We've nailed it!" - they certainly had!
In one of the less enthusiastic classes their teacher told them that both teachers and pupils who were walking past the classroom were stopping to see who was singing so beautifully. It is true that in all the classes the singing has improved so much and it is a delight to hear.
In another class whilst we were singing the Wizard of Oz - three boys, one cheeky, one serious and one shy - put their arms around each other. I immediately saw the scarecrow, the tin man and the lion!
As we were leaving one of the schools a teaching assistant who helps with the children who have hearing difficulties came up to us and said, "Thank you, you have been a blessing. They are so lucky to have you. You have brought so much joy to the children. It has moved me every week."
It has been a wonderful half term - so rewarding and I feel very lucky to be involved in such a brilliant project.
"It really cheers me up!"
Read comments from the children and teachers at Mengham, Tanners Brook & Sharps Copse Schools
"The best thing ever!"
Read comments from the children in years 3, 4, 5 & 6 at Redbridge School
Week 4 - The Hippopotamus Song
We began by giving ourselves a hug and then taking a deep breath - the air has to go into your tummy as your chest is held in the hug. This really helped the children with the "back to front" breathing.
The Hippopotamus Song (Mud, mud, glorious mud!) proved to be a hit, particularly with one little boy who has learning difficulties. Whilst he was singing, his eyes were so bright and his smile was enormous.
One girl commented how each song made her feel different - Food, Glorious Food made her feel hungry while Edelweiss made her feel sleepy.
At Sharps Copse Primary School, one of the teachers told me how excited the children were on a Tuesday morning knowing it was singing later in the day. When two girls in her class sang a duet, she had tears in her eyes and told them how proud she was.
We arrived at Redbridge School on Thursday morning with our fantastic new keyboard. Although it is fairly portable, so that we can take it from classroom to classroom, it makes a fabulous sound - so much louder and richer than the one we had been using. David almost makes it sound like an orchestra. The children thought it was great.
In Yellow class, when David showed the children how not to sing high notes, they collapsed giggling. Several commented on how he sounded just like Mr Bean!
One boy told us how the musical notes above the word 'follow' looked just like a smiley face. I shall never look at a dotted crotchet tied to a crotchet in the same way again.
Another boy told us how he kept getting muddled and singing 'glorious food' instead of 'glorious mud'.
In one of the more challenging classes, when David told them we had run out of time, there were cries of "Please sir, can we have some more".