Last night, after dinner, we had an impromptu karaoke hour. When I belted out the lyrics to Sinatra’s “That’s Life” it was more than a little cathartic. It’s all uplifting, very bootstrappy….but then that last lyric comes like a gut-punch – and my voice cracked for sure:
But if there’s nothin’ shakin’ come this here July
I’m gonna roll myself up in a big ball and die
Then I let my kid sit in a tub for a long time while I drank a Manhattan I ordered from a restaurant I’m hoping doesn’t close. Very. Weird. Times.
Anyway, the point is that it actually felt great to make some music and make some noise.
I love watching people doing just that, like this high school chorus performing their West Side Story mash-up and, of course, the cast of Hamilton on Zoom. I also joined in with our amazing students (and teachers!) this week in various musical rehearsals as we all belted out Circle of Life and Song of Love. But by far, the best is when we can all make noise together and applaud the tremendous bravery of the people on the front lines of this god-forsaken virus. Banging pots and whooping our windows at 7pm to express thanks.
Doing all we can to help kids let out big sounds (either through song, games or gratitude) is advisable these days. Not just because kids’ own social interaction is so limited to little boxes on a computer, but because there’s lots of big feelings that could use an outlet (“What do you mean I wont be going back for 2nd grade?”). And let’s face it, if they let it out, it gives you permission to let it out too.
Help kids make sounds with music
Here to help is music. So, I’m throwing it over to some OG Child’s Play NY teachers, Eryn Murman and Jason Hite. The gist is that you can do Hokey Pokey lots of different ways depending on what your kid loves…For the pre-K set it is a great way to make some noise, move your body and do it with characters they are excited about.
So, whether it’s the Hokey Pokey, Circle of Life, That’s Life, or just banging on a pot, it really doesn’t matter. In graduate acting school we used to call it “Releasing on Sound”. In real life it is just called “making noise”.
Maybe the Hokey Pokey is not really age-appropriate for your peeps anymore. In that case, may I recommend some other activities that can help kids get their sound and emotions out!
Dramatic play games for making noise
Try a game of Gibberish – let the feelings fly that wouldn’t normally be expressed through words but can be through sound.
Do Tongue Twisters or goofy jokes.
Try Boom Chica Boom with different characters or emotions.
Sing your own version of Down By The Bay – make up rhymes and act out the characters.
Make a list of your favorite songs, hum a few bars and play “Name that Tune”!
Find songs on a Karaoke app or YouTube. Then, make your own tinfoil microphones and sing the heck out of them. Don’t worry if you get choked up – that’s part of the deal these days.
Ok – that’s it. I gotta get my kid out of the bath.
Sending love and solidarity,