Saturday, November 5, 2011

singing together

 Every week, Dan and I lead something that is officially called Homeschool Choir, but we call it the Athens Homeschool Marching Choir, which gives you a more accurate idea of how we function.  We don't sit in rows or stand on risers (though we both enjoyed plenty of that growing up); we move, clap, dash, sway, dance, stomp and sing our way through each class.
 For a year and a half we've had what is more realistically a music class once a week; it is the most consistent thing our family does together, and that is what I really love about it.  It is a chance for the girls to see their dad in action (he is a really good teacher), he gets to interact in a different way with them and with some of their friends, and I get to go along for the ride. Together we come up with a game plan - warm-ups, lots of games that explore rhythm, games that bring us together, listening games, movement games...lots of silliness...and then there is the music! Dan found a great resource last year at one of the school's library sales - a book of Appalachian folk songs. We learned "Heigh Ho the Rattlin' Bog" and "Old Joe Clarke" and others that have their origins as English and Scottish traditional folk tunes, but were made popular in this country by the people in this area.  We learn rounds - goofy ones like "Black Socks" and more intricate songs like "Hey Down Down", which we learned from my brother-in-law and my sister, who sang it to me on a phone message which I listened to over and over and over...
 We explored some note-reading last year, which was an adventure; the oldest kid is 10 and the youngest was 5, but they all love choir so are game to try whatever we come up with.  Dan is a master of spontaneity and is able to wing it according to the group's's a gift he has (thank goodness).  This past week we had someone's family visiting (some Silver Baby Golf tournament attendees!) and they contributed some yoga mandalas to our hour together. Spontaneous goodness.
Me and Ani
These photos were all taken by Junru Huang, journalism student at Ohio University, who visited choir in May and took photos for a photo-journalism project she was conducting on homeschoolers.
Except this one, which is of a note written to us by one of our choir members. It reads:
"I love all the music you have taught me" and it was accompanied by a two-dollar bill.


Stephanie said...

Beautiful, SlimD.
The pics are gorgeous, aren't they? Especially that one of Ani. Oh my. So true to Ani, methinks! :) Love that.

verdemama said...

Oh, I love that first photo. So much energy! Wish we had a music class like that around here. My girls would love it.