This week’s guest blog post is from Peter B., who had an absolute blast with his son Alfie, at WeBOP, a musical jazz experience for parents with their kids at Lincoln Center. on behalf of the NYC Dads Group, here is Peter’s review…
So a saxophone is a saxophone is a saxophone. Or so you may think, but not before my 3 year old son corrects you. Thanks to a highly educational and extremely enjoyable New York Dads meet-up today, he now understands that there is a difference between a soprano saxophone and an alto saxophone. And thanks to his big presentation in music and pictures, he knows that John Coltrane was pretty mean at playing either.
And so we notched up another successful outing with the NYC Dads Group, an introduction to Jazz at the Lincoln Center with WeBop. Equipped with shakers and tambourines, we danced to a few jazz riffs courtesy of the soothing voice of our host and her trusted man on the piano. We even had a dad bring his mouth organ (Patrick on his harmonica) to get some practice in before his America’s got talent audition. What a group of guys!
Keeping toddler’s music classes fresh and innovative is essential to preventing the class from disintegrating into a car crash of a scene resembling a bunch of soda-infused kids on the dance floor at the end of a wedding party. As we moved through the jazz repertoire and my son’s questionable dancing had developed into unquestionable just running around the hall in circles, the class went to the next level. All the children were given a crayon and invited to “feel the music” and draw on a single huge sheet of paper. With an array of colors and shapes, our pianist deciphered the picture and set it to music. Truly genius. The ability to read music without a line or a clef in sight.
Providing some relevance to the children, our host then sung Goodnight Moon to music. Just holding up the familiar book was enough to draw in her young audience to sit at her feet, adding yet another layer of positive association to our children’s first jazz experience.
Keeping the dads on their toes, we had a quick round of Name that Tune. Full marks to the Dads for spotting the intro to ‘My Favorite Things’. There’s nothing uncool about an at-home dads group, its hip to quote from the Sound of Music. ‘Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens’. Not really what rocks our kid’s world nowadays though. And so that led us neatly into our host’s closing party trick, a quick-fire round-the-room free for all as the dads shouted out their kids’ favorite things. And with no rehearsal and just a little poetic license, our host brilliantly re-wrote and performed ‘My favorite things’ with personalized lyrics for the group (see above photo by Colby).
I can’t pretend to remember the lyrics, although I do recall it included kitty-cats and moms, but needless to say,
‘When the day’s long, when your child’s bored, when you’re feeling sad.
You simply hook up with NYC dads meet up group, and then you won’t feel so bad.’
Thanks to the Jazz at the Lincoln Center,WeBop! Class for inviting us in today. Hopefully, they’ll be rewarded with a few uptakes from within the dads group and other parents reading this review when the class resumes in the fall.