This Child Observation this week marks the start of a new venue as this was the last of my Cambridge classes at St. Matthew’s Church Hall. The classes will be moving to Trumpington Village Hall on Saturday mornings, so after a few years one of which Child A has been attending every week this is also an opportunity to reflect on when I started on my classes and how much I have learnt along the way. Alongside Child A both I have learnt how to run a business and watched him grow and develop both musically as well as seeing his personality emerge as he has grown in confidence.
When Child A first came it was for a Summer holiday one off Special at the Church Hall I was running based on the ‘Carnival of the Animals’ by Saint-Saens. Back then he didn’t talk that much as he didn’t have the skills. Now that he has grown physically and got used to the social setting of the music class that has become part of his routine, this has ensured a comfortable environment so that he happily talks. I can admit that Child A has come out of his shell since attending classes and he demonstrates this in his home life too with regular mini “performances” in front of his family of what he has learnt that week with me.
With my most recent class with him, he now can greet and wave goodbye thanks to regularly singing the ‘Hello’ and ‘Goodbye’ songs as part of the structure of the weekly class. In fact Child A was feeling under the weather with a cold this week but by the end of the class he was freshly renewed with energy and running around enthusiastically. Especially as our first rhyme was ‘Old Man Moses’ which has a lot of actions to get you moving when you feel unwell as the Old Man in the song is sick in bed and his Doctor’s advise is to get moving. Something I firmly agree with and there are many links to connect general health and recovery time to physical exercises, be it singing or dancing which also boosts your endorphins which promotes good mental health too.
We then moved onto a song to celebrate upcoming Shrove Tuesday called ‘Pop a little Pancake’ which is particularly lovely for babies as it has a lot of bouncing plus cuddles as part of the actions such as ‘Squezze a little lemon’. However, as Child A proved it is also a wonderful experience for toddlers too who still gain a lot from physical affection as well as encouraging the pulse in their movements. Once the class had got used to the new song through repetition, we moved on to using maracas to represent our frying pans which we also used to stir our pretend pancake batter thus creating ‘Pretend play’ in this game which Child A enjoyed; particularly the eating part.
We continued with developing awareness of their Enabling Environment by looking at another upcoming event on the social calendar which is St. Valentine’s Day. For this I chose the song ‘Love Somebody’ which is helpful for children to understand their love for their parent/adult carers and further establish those relationships. I used a heart to demonstrate the beat, which I patted in time on my doll Jack’s chest and Child A copied this when it was his turn as he was reluctant to do this on his own chest. I then went on to show that we can find the beat in different parts of the body, such as our knees which we always pat during the ‘Hello’ and ‘Goodbye’ song. This activity was further enhanced when we used egg shakers to represent our hearts.
To think more on the subject of love, I realise how privileged I am to share my love of music with children and their families and I hope to continue this with Child A as we move to a new venue for the classes. Child A also mentioned that he loved Fireman Sam which he chose to sing as a request as usual at the end of the class. I look forward to seeing what other tastes he develops as we enjoy another year together before he attends school.