Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Cherubs

The Cherubs are on my mind.
These heavenly beings
are on my mind.

I made some angel pins
for my niece’s baby shower this past weekend.
Maybe that’s why
The Cherubs
are on my mind.

And someone once told me
that angels gather
where there are flowers.
My lilies are in full bloom
and every time my flowers bloom
I like to think
that what she told me is true,
that the angels are gathering,
admiring my blooms.

Last week just before
the children’s mass
a mother
of one of the new choir members
asked me about forming a choir
for the wee ones.
I’m talkin’ wee ones,
3-6 years old.
I told her
that I had already given that some thought,
though I’ve never formally
talked to our pastor about it.
She has a daughter
who is in that age range.
That child
is constantly coming up to me
and singing something!

Cherub Choir:
The nudges are all around me.

who joined the choir
a couple of months ago,
has a younger sister
who sings everything
and dances if it’s an upbeat song.
This wee one
is already coming to rehearsals
with her sister,
though she is really too young
to be in the children’s choir.

one of our best singers,
has a younger sister
who loves to sing.

And Jean Paul
has two younger sisters
who clearly fit
The Cherub description.

without much effort,
the backbone
of The Cherub Choir
already exists.

What’s on my mind is very simple.
I’d like to tell the children stories
and then teach the song
that goes with the story.
But before I teach the song
I’d ask them about the story,
to make sure they were listening,
to make sure they understand the story.
This would help to reinforce listening skills.
My, how we adults
don’t even know how to listen.
Imagine teaching children
from the youngest age
to really listen.

The story would reinforce the song
and vice versa.

And I would teach them
much the way I teach
their older brothers and sisters.
I would recite the words in rhythm
and have them recite it back in rhythm.
It’s rote learning,
this is about listening.

I would pluck out the melody on the piano
and then pluck it out again
and sing it
and then have them sing it back.
Once I see they’ve got it
I’d add the accompaniment,
and then move on to the next verse
or refrain.

The following week
I would see which child
could tell the story back to me.
I would see which child
could sing the song back to me.

And then
I’d probably introduce movement
or hand gestures
if there is anything
that goes with that particular song.
Moving in rhythm
will only help to prepare them
for hand help percussion instruments.

And I am learing
(albeit, on my onw)
the Kodaly Method.
The Kodaly Method II: Folksong to Masterwork
What I’ve seen so far
using this method is amazing,
but it has really on been on internet video.
And yet,
it seems so simple.
Why didn't I learn of this method
25 years ago?

I only wish there was a class
close to me where I could study
the Kodaly Method formally.
as I so often do,
I digress.
My point is,
I could teach them rhythm
using Kodaly.

And then,
we’d probably tell another story
and start another song.

But I would probably start each session
with some music games,
some learning games.
Something fun,
but something that will teach them.
Something that would get them
up out of their seats
and moving around.
This would at once
serve as a distraction
to keep their minds busy,
but also could be
just another rhythm game.

I can’t envision a rehearsal with them
being much more than ½ hour or 45 minutes.
And I don’t know when
that rehearsal might be. . .
. . maybe just before
or just after rehearsal
with the older kids,
seeing how many would probably be siblings. . .
. . but to be honest,
I don’t want the older kids there.
I think this could be very distracting
to the little, little ones.
I don’t think I’d even want the parents there,
except maybe one or two to help,
but to REALLY help.

And I haven’t quite figured out
how/where to use them in worship. . .
. . . probably a song or two
at the regular Thursday evening
children’s liturgy. . . .
. . . .with an occasional presence
during the year at weekend masses. . . .

.. . .or maybe try to put something together
that could be incorporated into
the Christmas program
that is also dancing in my head. . . .

And I still haven’t researched
age appropriate music for worship,.
though Christopher Walker
does have a collection
that is available
in both Spanish and English,
Stories and Songs of Jesus.
And it would need to be something
that uses both languages,
though I’m thinking
primarily in Spanish,
Walker’s collection
also has a coloring book
based on those same songs.
This would certainly be a start. . . .

Or maybe this should just be
a pilot project
to see if there is interest,
to see if I haven’t
gone off my rocker
thinking I can do this. . .
. . . .maybe a six week project
followed by evaluation.

In any event,
the words are out of Rubi’s head
and on electronic parchment.
My pastor is bound to read this,
sooner or later.

Does anyone in the blogosphere
have a Cherub Choir?
What words of wisdom
can you offer???

- - - - - - - - -
About the photos:
these are the angel lapel pins that I made for my niece's baby shower, obviously, made of noodles. they are painted with spray paint and i used a hot glue gun to put the pieces together.