May 15, 2018

Kids were wound up today. A new boy started, J, he’s 5. That makes 3 active 5-year-old boys in the class.


I set them up with drums and was able to get a rendition of Fanga up and running. I started them out with uke and singing, followed by slow drumming and singing, then fast and furious cacophony followed by a hard cut, then into a faster drum beat and singing, ending with furious cacophony, and a hard cut for an ending. I instructed them to follow my cues, and they were pretty good at it.


The class began to disintegrate after about 20 minutes. I sat them in a circle to refocus. I calmly talked about chaos, asking them to tell me what they thought it meant. They gave the answers you’d expect, “crazy behavior,” “little kids running around like maniacs”, “everyone talking,” etc. I said, “Those are all good answers, but they seem more like the result of chaos. Chaos to me means everyone does and says what they want without thinking of anyone else, or the group. Once you do that,” I told them, “all that other stuff follows. And we’re not going to do it that way.” I stood them back up and we played music again. We had some really good moments.

I gave the electric guitar to K today, who really caught the idea of teamwork.

 -George Yellak, SWAN music teacher

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