Childrens educational entertainment…..a magical calling

I’m in children’s educational entertainment. I try to introduce kids 3-5 years old to music, to help them notice it and feel it. During the week I have a route of pre-schools that hire me weekly. Some weekends I do kids birthday parties, plus I teach guitar.

For the kids I do simple songs, old and new with them. I carry a big bag of kid instruments with me plus my guitar and a box of puppets. The kids sit down and I play a little and talk to them. I hand each kid a hand puppet. I learn their names, that’s real important that connection. I hand each kid an instrument using their name and show them how to use it. We have fun with that. Then we do these songs, itsy-bitsy spider or even ‘Look out Joe, we gotta go, on the bayou’, with sound effects and puppets acting out the parts. I have a great time.

There’s something about this age group I really like. They’re just becoming aware of music and rhythms. It’s magic to watch them open up to music this way and be a part of it.

I got into this by accident. When my daughter was in pre-school I’d volunteer to help with the kids and since I had studied the guitar I began to play songs for them and put instruments in their hands, see what happened, encourage them to play. I’ve been doing it for awhile now, my daughter’s l7.

I’ve been invited to speak to teacher groups about what I do with music and young kids. People tell me I need to apprentice someone to this work, but I really can’t. You have to be a certain kind of person for it. It’s a calling really. I’ve got little kids who, if I don’t show up one week, they’re really sore at me the next week,”Mr. Tom, where WERE you?”