Later in the morning, the children gathered to learn a song called Downstream/Upstream which I wrote for the learning module. Special guest Beth Wiskus, music teacher to some of the children, played guitar and led the singing while I led the motions. Beth had chosen instruments for each child to play during a part of the song. There was a thunder tube and rain sticks for the thunderstorm verse, and tone blocks for the verse about the toads. The instruments were arranged in a large circle to follow the story of the song. Five children sat in the middle to play the big drum on each chorus. Here's a sound file of Beth's practice CD for the children to take home. A video of the children singing is to come. Here's the lyrics.
We also started to learn another song called, I turn on the tap/I walk to the stream with words and music by Richard Stilgoe from Water Aid's Children Sing for Water program. The program aims to "transform lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in the world's poorest communities." The song is part of a children's fund-raising concert kit and talks about how other children in some parts of the world get their drinking water from dirty streams. This theme not only points out the challenges and differences in water supply systems around the world, but also can help children appreciate the clean water we have here.