FROM PETA BALE, MINI MINSTRELS TEACHER
It’s truly inspiring to enjoy a workshop led by someone who is passionate and so able in their subject. On Thursday 20 February, guest music education specialist James Madsen presented an Early Childhood PD Workshop for music teachers, the new students in the Thunderbolt Ensemble and their parents. There was total involvement in the activities being demonstrated. We all became part of the learning process as we chanted and sang, moved and remembered many of James’ original materials. We experienced a sequence of learning and extension as we continued with body percussion and then to tuned percussion. It was fun and a little cheeky- just the sort of thing to really engage children in learning (as well as their teachers). James also revealed his gentle heart as he shared his personal song about Grandma’s Garden. I can’t wait to read/sing this with my music classes and enjoy the beautiful illustrations in his book.
On Friday 21 February, James presented his 'Jam on Toast' special children’s concert for over 200 pre-schoolers and K-2 school children. He applied much of what we had learnt at the workshop. The children responded beautifully and with such enthusiasm. James has such a good understanding of what works with kids, and was able to mix listening, singing, moving and quiet moments to create a wonderful hour of serious musical fun.
Watch an excerpt of James Madsen's PD workshop, with NECOM's Thunderbolt students: