April 24, 2018

Kids were pretty wound up today. I’m a little hoarse, but we had some fun. Snack time went well. I talked about performance, and what it means to be calm. It was K’s birthday so we sang to him. Later I shared that it’s also my birthday, so the kids sang to me. K brought his sticks and practice pad. The kid is good. Musically talented. I had them set-up the drums in two lines facing each other. We did Fanga, the African call and response. “A” played what he remembered from what Luke taught. I let him lead it off each time. I had the kids play and sing the song, trading off phrases from the right line to the left line. The kids were prone to a lot of physical movement. So I told them we would play the song and when I cue we would play the drums as loud and fast as we could, go nuts, then I cued cut and let A kick us off again. They liked it, we did that for the next 5 or 10 minutes.


I transitioned to ukuleles. We sat on the floor. I taught them the Fanga melody on uke. They all tried pretty well. I pulled out the electric guitar. Played them a little pop song to show them what it could do. I said that one person would play it, whoever listened the best and tried their best. I told them one person also could take it home each week. Their focus improved instantly.

 -George Yellak, SWAN music teacher

The names of students are represented by a letter for privacy reasons.