So many wonderful things have been happening since I came back to Liberia. Alfreida and her sons worked feverishly to complete all of the instruments during the month of June while my husband and I were on holiday. They knew that I was going to start trainings in July and then travel again in August. They did it! Even with the rain making it hard for things to dry, they still did it.
Their little shop was so overflowing with shakers, drums, rhythm sticks and sansas, they even called me to ask me to pick them up! We had to make a few runs back and forth with different vehicles to fit everything. But all has finally been delivered to the RESH office except for the rest of the parachutes. Krubo has had her tailor working hard sewing beautiful multi-colored parachutes for the music activities.
I met with Jessica twice last week. We spent a few hours going through a lot of the music activities in the RESH office...it was so funny! We were jumping up and down and walking or dancing in a circle with the parachute activities, and using all of the instruments, and she was recording me singing the songs so she could listen to them and practice them. It was funny because there were other people in the office and they started singing along, and laughing and Alfred even participated in the 'Find The Egg' game. This was where he went outside for a few minutes while Jessica hid the object. We chose a song to sing while he looked for it. The louder we got, he knew he was close. The softer we were, he knew he was farther away from it. Voila! A musical treasure hunt.
Jessica is going to do great. We went over not just the activities, but the purposes behind them, questions to ask at the beginning and how to set up the activities and then how to follow up and ask questions at the end about how they felt about the activity, what thoughts came to mind;etc.
I Love You Rituals - I am really big on Conscious Discipline, as I use it religiously with my own students and others So as part of the music activities, I shared with Jessica several I love you Rituals by Dr. Becky Bailey. Ways to connect with the children, create a safe place and just have rituals of love and connection that are easy. We also went over how the P.A's themselves can model self-calming to the children.
One of the really fun things was when the little boy in the office who is about 6 or 7 years old agreed to participate in the activities as I trained Jessica. It was great to do these musical activities with a child, ask his feedback...during one of the activities, he just started posing! Eagle pose, karate pose...so instead of trying to get him to do what we were doing, we started doing what he was doing...eagle poses, switching feet, doing the activity with the pose he was showing. It was so great! He was brilliant. The purpose of that was to show Jessica that it is more important to connect with the children and validate them first, than to make sure they are doing activities correctly. Incorporating their ideas into the activities will open heart doors that might otherwise stay closed. It's all about connection and knowing 'I Am Loved, I am Safe".
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