We begin my warming up our voices with Let’s Go Fly a Kite. We create wind with a parachute, moving feathers with our breath, throwing sycamore seeds into the air and watching them spin, making whirligigs from paper, holding up high and letting go and watching them whirl. Can you guess our theme today? There is a lovely buzz in the air; it’s a whirlwind of fun in the conservatory. Next we are making Japanese kites with willow sticks. Christine loves to draw and today she decorates her kite with a picture of her sister.
The following week we float up into celestial dreamy themes of sleep, clouds and counting sheep. We sing Dream a Little Dream of Me followed by a beautiful rendition of Frere Jacques, we even manage to sing it in canon! Then the beautiful steel tongue drum comes out for more playing, anybody dozing off yet? We create mobiles inspired by our dreamy sky theme. Arnalda’s mobile hangs on her walker for weeks after this session!
The following week we create a warm cosy atmosphere with low-lit candles and torches creating a bonfire with sparkling flames, crackling noises and squeaking fireworks. It’s apt because it’s Diwali; Paul and Evelyn have been celebrating.
We pass the story parcel around the circle and when the music stops whoever is holding the parcel can open it up to reveal the object which is a clue to the next part of the story, and what a story! There are so many storytellers in the room today – the chattering and nattering between each other is wonderful. Here it is:
There is a dark night sky with glittering stars overhead.
A gentle breeze blows through the Christmas tree forest.
Two sausage dogs are hungry and having their evening walk.
They come across a gemstone that has magic powers.
The gemstone grants the dogs three wishes.
They wish to home to Italy, have a grandson and travel in a time machine.
And they find a green feather that belongs to a monster.
All the time there is a parrot and a sparrow listening.
They are keeping a nest of eggs warm in the tree high in the forest.
And then the dogs come across the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
And they start singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow!
Then we create beautiful lanterns using tissue and tracing paper.
Our penultimate session is full of songs and sensory delights. We sing “Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush’ with actions and we even taste mulberry tea. We find out about silk worms loving to nibble on mulberry bushes, and as if by magic a huge silk worm appears ready to play with us! Paul, Arnalda and Margret go into a fabulous role-play battling with a cobra snake, who is now known as Mr Saab. After a juice break we explore printing with fruit and vegetables. The table is soon covered in bright printed patterns of sweet corn, apples and broccoli!
Our final celebration session is a flurry of singing from our full repertoire of songs we have been enjoying. Our voices ring out as we smile, laugh and take joy in each other’s company.
Everybody is given a CD with recordings of us singing over the last few weeks. Milena has prepared a lovely photo album for the centre with images from across the sessions, which was passed around the circle and enjoyed many times.
We make festive paper decorations before a fond farewell.
We hope to be back soon with this wonderful vibrant group of exceptional individuals. You have lit up our hearts and warmed our spirits! Thank you for having us.