Music classes are a big part of our weekly routine and I've been collecting photos for a while so I figured I should get around to posting them.
Children ages 0-3 do a rhythm program called Music Pups. I don't think I've written about it before but Matthew started when he was about eighteen months old and Amelia started going when she was only a few months old. Music pups is a lot of singing and dancing and using musical instruments for rhythm, and training to sing tonal and rhythm patterns. The kids love it. Elizabeth and Matthew came last year when they had a PD day, to Amelia's great delight. I don't recall why they decided to wear fairy wings to music though.
I did mention that Matthew started piano this year. Originally he was doing the Sunrise class that Elizabeth did but a few weeks into the class we switched to piano. He was VERY excited to be finally doing "real" music (Mom: "but rhythm instruments ARE real music you know" Matthew: "Moooooommmmmmm"). He worked extremely hard to catch up to the other kids. Joining in 10 weeks late while being the youngest kid in the class isn't easy and at first he found the length and structure of the class extremely difficult. I found it difficult to keep him focussed and not being exuberantly disruptive, but he did gradually settle down and seems to more or less fit in with the five other students in his class. One of the students is his good friend Marshall, so he looks forward to music every week. This is not to say that Matthew is now a model student who is quietly engaged and always paying attention to his teacher. Matthew does find piano more difficult than he anticipated and I think it's actually more difficult for him than it was for Elizabeth as he has much smaller hands than she did at the same age. His writing skills are not as advanced either - some of the theory work wants him to write numbers and letters which I don't recall being an issue for Elizabeth, but is definitely the hardest part for Matthew. But he perseveres.
In the keyboard classes there is an opportunity to write your own composition. Matthew hadn't yet gotten to notes on the staff, so he glued his keyboard friends on to the appropriate steps after much deliberation about which notes he was going to use. Elizabeth actually wrote more than one composition this year, declaring attempt number one to be "HORRIBLE" and crumpling up the paper after getting stuck.
In general we get the kids to practice the piano every day before school, although I have to admit that Elizabeth is at the point now where we mostly let her do her own thing. I do try to closely watch her play her pieces at least every couple of days to check that she's got the right fingering and rhythms but this is the year that Brendan and I have to admit that she's now better at the piano than either of us. (At least I still have more theory? LOL). Matthew's practices are still very much needing a parent to direct and keep him focussed.
Much faster than I expected, Matthew has earned his first stripe! It's hard to know who was prouder - Matthew or Elizabeth!
Amelia - not to be left out - often spends Matthew's class doing her own version of karate. Her "classes" consist mostly of jumping jacks, push-ups, and jumps while yelling ki-ai! It's pretty cute.
We started off Mother's day started off with some artwork from Elizabeth. Then after church it was back to the quilt show to check out the ribbons! The kids were very pleased to see their ribbons. Janice's "Owl" won a ribbon too! On the Saturday we dragged Lorianne along and had a wonderful time doing the art quilt demo. On Sunday we met up with Dave and Karen's crew so my kids "helped" their cousins do the scavenger hunt all over again.
Amelia and Theo liked the touch quilts the best. Daddy's favourite was the U is for Unicorn (alphabet) quilt and I have to admit the needlework was quite amazing.
I enjoyed the Canada 150 themed quilts very much and was quite impressed by some of the "plain" white quilts. So much work!!!
All in all it was a wonderful show.
I'm not sure why everyone felt it necessary to schedule all the things Mother's Day weekend, but it was clear it was going to be a busy day.
First up was a special Mother's Day karate class. Elizabeth thought I should go to karate twice, but I opted to just go to Matthew's class on the grounds that it was earlier, shorter AND I got a two-for-one deal because she could help out.
After karate we headed to Matthew's nursery school festival "the spring fling" for lunch. I'd promised to take a shift manning the food booth as I hadn't really participated in any of the previous festivals. The kids all got balloons, and bounced in the bouncy castle and generally loved it. Elizabeth thought it would have been better if they'd had more "big kid" stuff. I pointed out that it was aimed at the under five set. "Oh"
After the spring fling we came home for half an hour to play and last chance to practice recital pieces. Amelia did not wish to shake her shaker but she did manage to make eye contact with the audience and even waved so that's progress.
Matthew started playing his piece before his bum even hit the seat. Daddy has vowed to start videoing the kids getting on to the piano bench (which frankly is one of my favourite parts at that age). He played his piece with great confidence and skill.
Elizabeth played her birthday piece from Auntie Joanne "A Happy Waltz" which was a stretch for her but I thought she did quite well considering. You can definitely hear where she gets less comfortable, but she was still having trouble playing hands together just a few weeks ago so it's really come together.
After the recital, we headed to the quilt show in order to get a chance to vote for some of the quilts. The kids really loved doing the scavenger hunt put together by Auntie Janice. They won fabric from Auntie Janice's stash! The quilts were gorgeous as usual, but more on that tomorrow...
We ended up skipping the tulip festival (we'll do that later), a cool bird festival and the science expo. Maybe next year!
I went to Matthew's preschool for a special Mother's day tea where I was quite impressed to be presented with a gluten free granola bar in lieu of muffin.
Actually all of Matthew's teachers kind of outdid themselves this year! Matthew couldn't wait until Sunday to present me with all his gifts!