Mentor Artist Hannah Dworkin reports on her music residency at Marindale preschool.
It was such a joy to work with Carla Echevarria’s language delayed preschool class at Marindale in San Rafael. This year was especially engaging because Carla invited several students from Santa Margarita, a nearby “mainstream” preschool, to join us weekly. Carla and the teachers from Santa Margarita have been looking for a way to integrate the two schools, and our residency became an important step toward reaching this goal.
The presence of the Santa Margarita students greatly motivated Carla’s students to move beyond their comfort zone and engage in activities that were new to them. We noticed that they were more fully engaged in the music and the movement and were more apt to accept new songs and dances into their repertoire.
Carla’s students also made great strides in their musicianship, more than they had in the past. They were able to follow melodies in accuracy I had not seen before, and they often begin singing our songs before the class even begins!
We also used a lot of puppets this year, and the kids loved them!!! The level of engagement and calm throughout the class was evident immediately once they saw my “magic puppets” emerge from their bags. Some song that worked well with puppets were: “Three Little Monkeys” with an alligator puppet and three monkey puppets, “Buzz Buzz” with Bee finger puppets for each child, and “We are the dinosaurs” with various dinosaur puppets.