Last Friday night we had our first co-op event for the year – our family concert. Our co-op is made up of about 10 families with children ranging from 2yo to 16yo. We try to keep a family atmosphere to all our activities – just a group of families getting together to encourage our kids learning. For many years our first event/activity is a family concert – a time where kids can get up and do their thing – much like kids would when gathered at Grandma’s house with extended family.
This year was one of our best. On our way home, our car was just buzzing with reliving the highlights. Because we do this every year it is a delight to see the kids grow in their confidence and creativity. This year our programme included:
- a poem about horses which included play on words which made us laugh
- Short plays or skits
- Piano, recorder, clarinet, saxophone and trumpet pieces
- Ecuadorian folk dance (which was choreographed by the kids themselves)
- A poetry recital
- Two movies put together by two different families – one was instructional on how to make a marshmallow gun, and the other a drama about stolen jewels
- Improvisation drama – set up by one of the kids, but with the adults being put on the spot (very very funny)
Naomi and Daniel converted the story “It’s a Book” into a little skit. We love this book. When I step back and consider the learning that went on in preparation for this skit it is significant:
- Understanding the nuances in the text and being able to interpret them in a different medium
- Working together (we often get asked if our kids can work collaboratively – of course they can!) They worked together to work out who would have which part, who would make which props, making room for each other’s strengths and struggles. Working together to find times that suited each other for practices.
- Making props using different techniques: recycling, digital, audio
- Voice projection and articulation (this was more for Daniel than Naomi, as she already does well in the drama department)
- Actually getting up in front of people and performing (we can never underestimate the learning and growth that this alone brings to our kids.)
Each family would have had different skills that would have come through in their preparations. Even though the list of learning that happened looks impressive, the actual prep time didn’t take very long at all. In keeping with a family event, we don’t expect to see highly polished and fancy props in the presentations or Oscar winning performances – it is all just for fun and opportunity. Our kids probably spent 2 hours all up getting this together and yet the learning was significant, real and valuable.
Do your kids have impromptu concerts; do they get together with other kids (friends or family) and put on little shows? Take note of these times and include them in their learning record.