So what do you get when you combine fifty-five children under the age of 6, a ton of goofy songs and dances, a bunch of recorders, and two crazy teachers....the answer is mini-camp! During the first two weeks of this month Ecole de Musique Sainte Trinité held their annual mini-camp for recorder students, beginner strings, beginner band, and beginner choir members. I was blessed with the exciting job of assisting my good friend and colleague, Deborah with the flûte-à-bec (recorder) class.
Every day for two weeks, Monday through Friday, our fifty-five recorder children showed up at Sainte Trinité cathedral around 8am. After morning prayer, we headed to our designated room and began our day with songs and dance. I had a great time trying to remember some of my favorite children’s songs and translating them into Creole.
We also had a little 90’s flashback and taught the kids the Macarena. I cannot not even express how hysterical it was to watch my class follow me in the dance!
Our morning song and dance was followed by time spent teaching basic music theory and recorder to the students. We spent time learning our different note values and the first three notes on the recorder. Then mid-morning we took time to refuel and took a break for snack. These three women are the masterminds behind making sure our bellies were full. Not only are they great cooks, but they always had a smile on their face when you came to visit them. I’m super grateful to all of them!
After snack, we worked on more recorder music. Then we broke the class into two groups and half of our students went to a dance class, while the other half stayed with me for crafts. Finally at 1pm our little munchkins went home and I spent the afternoon prepping for the next day.
At the end of the two weeks on our final Friday, we had a big concert for everyone to show off what they learned. Our kids showed off their new knowledge of music and mad recorder skills.
Although it was basically two weeks of straight madness, I wouldn’t have traded those two weeks for anything. I loved having the opportunity to spend time with the youngest musicians of EMST. And I’m hoping some of my translated songs will live on for future mini-camps. Also I have to give a big thank you to my parish; those VBS mission trips in the Dominican Republic were really fantastic training for mini-camp! And then thank you of course to my sponsors Kathy & Nick Nerangis and my old flute teacher Francis Averitt! Less than two weeks and I'm home everyone!!!!