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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Music Explorers, vol. V

I was especially excited about tonight's project because we were going to have the kids write their own raps. It was something that had been mentioned the first night as an offer so kids would come back, and I convinced my co-leader to follow through with the plan.

We started by reinforcing what rhyme was, and all the kids (only 6 of them tonight) enthusiastically yelled out some easy rhymes, when we brought up words. Then we all went around the table and introduced ourselves and something we like that rhymes with it. I like my friend Danny. (I figured I couldn't mention my fanny.)

Then we broke down "Hey Diddle Diddle" and "Hickory Dickory Dock," had the kids point out the rhyming words and established the difference between reading them and reading them to a beat. My co-leader also wanted to introduce a bit of coordination, so we stood in a circle and did hilarious variations on the step-touch. Kids are funny.

And brilliant. When we brought up the creative task of the night, they all jumped in head first. We assigned them to write at least a 4 line "rap," using rhyme, beats, and writing about their favorite hobbies. And then each and every one of them got up and performed them by themselves. This part of it is a bit of a triumph because we have witnessed some crippling shyness from a lot of kids--they do well in a group and then when they're singled out, they clam up. Perhaps it was the smallness of the crowd and the enthusiastic support of us and the volunteers, but they all did SO well. And honestly wrote raps with less self-consciousness and angst than any of the grown-ups.

Here's mine:
"I act and write/Don't like to fight/And I watch my TV each night.
Annie's my name/Teaching's my game/One day I'd like to have riches and fame."

Next week, the plan is to challenge them a little more and expand on their growing knowledge of rhythm and rhyme by teaching them about accented and unaccented syllables. I'm very excited.

1 comment:

Rachiewrites said...

What a triumph indeed, Annie! Your gift of yourself will come back to you many times over--you'll see! Yay for kids!