Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Adventures in Music Listening - Old West

Howdy Pardner!

We had a grand time this morning in the Old West. After discussing what life might have been like a hundred years ago, we learned how to do a line dance.

After all, cowboys wouldn't dance cheek to cheek! The younger kids just did a walk, but the older kids learned to grapevine.

After having a little amuzement, we spun them around blindfolded to see if they could pin the sheriff with their badge. There were a lot of laughs as the sheriff was poked everywhere but his badge.

In the Old West they had to watch out for "rattlers". So we practiced jumping rattlesnakes trying not to get bit. Of course, I had to practice too.
After a full day of dancing and watching out for rattlers and catching dogies, it was time to sit by the campfire and sing songs like: Home, home on the Range, I've Been Working on the Railroad, Do Your Ears Hang Low, and playing BINGO with our kazoo. The full day made us soooo hungry that we really enjoyed our smores and sassparilla or cactus juice before leaving for greener pastures.

Be sure to check out the slideshow of pictures of all the countries at the top right of this blog.

Thank you to all who attended and to those who made this month of traveling possible. NYSCA and Buffalo Council of the Arts, Rotary Club, Quality Markets, The Shoops, The Dennerleins, anonymous donors and most of all the Lakewood Memorial Library personnel!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Taylor and Morgan

I finally got Taylor and Morgan's first piano recital video on the website. I tried to do it on YouTube but it was too big. You can check it out under Students/Student Performance tab if you have the user name and password (which you only get if you are a family member or friend of the students).

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I received this note from Taylor on the last day of lessons and it made my day....

"Dear Mrs. Robbison, I'm so glad your my piano teacher. Your the Best!!!! Nobody could EVER replase you." (I didn't correct her spelling.) She drew a big smiley and signed it "Sincerely, Taylor"


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Adventures in Music Listening - Mexico

Hola! We traveled to Mexico today. The children brought in their handmade or purchased maracas and they each received a maraca pen. Mary brought in some jewelry, castanets, sombrero, and ponchos from Mexico.

I started out with a siesta ...

and I definitely needed one after a full day of playing freeze dance

and moving to the mexican music

and coloring chili peppers or sombreros while I read The Giant's Secret. You can read it here: http://www.drlamay.com/giants_secret.htm.

We actually had some balls go into Mexico City in the Mexico Toss game.

The children are all having fun in these sessions and so am I. Some of them are using their passwords in conversations, like saying "Jambo" instead of hello to friends. They get so excited about it that they pester their parents saying, "has she called with the password yet?". They tell their friends at YCare, "I'm going to Russia (or whatever country we are visiting) tonight." And then go back and tell them what they did in the country. They have discussions at the dinner table about what they've learned. Some homeschooling moms are using this as a teaching experience by asking questions after the sessions to reinforce what was learned that day. Some of the children even say they wish it was longer. That is one request I don't think I have energy for!
Next week is the last week. Stay tuned...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Adventures in Music Listening - Russia

We had a great time learning about Russia on Tuesday. My friend, Karen, and Mary, the Librarian, let us borrow their items from Russia for display.

The children learned part of the Troika dance. That was a lot of fun, especially with the five-year olds who were still wondering what a Troika was.

They listened to a story about Ivan and his frog bride while they colored their sleighs. We played Caraway, Caraway with the Flight of the Bumblebee as our time keeper. That was the hit of the day.

The children are very excited about the classes and seem to be enjoying the snacks from the countries too. We had crackers and cheese for Russia as I couldn't find any dark bread. Their password for the day was "paca" which means "goodbye".

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Adventures in Music Listening - Africa

The first session of the series Adventures in Music Listening was today at the Lakewood Memorial Library. There were 14 five to seven year olds in the first class, 10 eight to ten year olds in the second class, 3 in each of the evening classes. They had to tell me their password, which was "Jambo". Jambo means "hello" in Swahili. We listened to African music, looked at pictures of animals and houses. We had a wonderful display of things from Africa, thanks to the Shoops. We met them on Saturday at the Breakfast Club and they offered to let me use their things from their trip. There was a dress and top, kitchen items, a pencil drawing of a mom and baby that was awesome, an inlaid wooden tray. Mary, the library director, also brought in things from when she lived in Africa and she sang them a song about mom working in the kitchen. We either colored or played talking drums. I think the best part was the lion and impala game. They seemed to have a lot of fun. I know I did.

Playing with African toys.

Coloring talking drums.
Getting a snack of bananas and walnuts.
Waiting for snack.
Looking at pictures of the colorful houses.
More coloring pictures.
Learning about talking drums.
Learning Jambo Bwama
Thanks to Shoops for all the wonderful items on display.