By Liz Hannan
Eve Kodiak, who usually makes music with children in New England, visited northern California recently and offered two workshops, one at a regional CMN gathering. Here, Liz Hannan reflects on the magic of Eve’s chants and musical techniques with young children in her music sessions. Learn more about Eve’s work with reflexes and music at her blog, Movement Matters.
I have a charming little girl who is three and a half years old and this is my second year with her.
Her mother is a musicologist teaching at Stanford University.
The child is always prim, proper, polite, pretty, poised and pensive.
There is always a slight smile and a look of approach/avoidance.
That all changed on Tuesday with the first song: “Wave Hello.”
We have done it since Christmas but this time my hand was not waving on the beat and I was not counting the beats. We were all just free to continue with “Something’s Coming Toward Me” and movement for balance.
She lit up, smiled and sang along with all the other children.
Her hair bounced, her eyes danced and her body was fluid.
She was totally engaged with herself, the other children and me
for the entire 30 minutes.
In the next circle was a four-year old, a big boy who usually stands just behind the circle.
His mother is extremely ill so he is spending a lot of time with Grandma.
He is a thumb sucker and has been wetting his pants.
This time he stepped slightly forward and let his entire body flow.
Like the other children, his face was filled with joy and freedom.
At the end he came to me and waited to tell me a story.
When he stepped forward he looked into my eyes, held and played with my fingers as he told me about his fun with clay. This was a first. Later, I thanked him and he invited me to come in three days and paint the clay with him. I was told to follow his car.
And then there was the little girl who has to run around the school yard for 15 minutes before entering the classroom. She hits and pulls hair.
She has a toughness on her face in spite of any smile.
During our circle she released all her tough and tight cover and became soft and tender. I watched her doing art with the other children. She still had the softness and seemed tender with the teacher and the children.
Today was more of the same, with a child here, there and everywhere
coming out of a shell to become free and peaceful.
What a joy…
Eve Kodiak let us know that the lyrics of the chants mentioned above are available in her blog, which is on the web page of the Early Childhood Music and Movement Association (ECMMA).
Something’s Coming Towards Me (Monsters): http://www.ecmma.org/blog/movement_matters/somethings_coming_towards_me