Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Message From My Music-Teaching Mother

Keeping my Ducks in a Row                            May 31, 2011

One morning a week, I teach music to a class of 25 wiggly kindergarteners.  Many of them have summer birthdays, which means that even in May, quite a few are still five years old.  This is my true story.

“Hello, Kindergarten.  Today I have a new song to sing for you.  Here it is.”  I begin to sing: “When ducks….” Immediately, I lose one third of the class.  “Ducks!” say their little brains, “This song is about ducks!  What do we know about ducks?  They quack, they flap their wings, you can make a duck beak with your two hands in front of your mouth.”  They proceed to do so.

I continue the line of song: “….get up in the morning…”  There goes group two.  I must say, you’ve got to like group two.  Their eyes get big with surprise.  Ducks!  Getting up in the morning!  They had never thought about this before!  What would the ducks do? They immediately go into full pantomime mode.  They sleep, they wake up, they stretch their arms – wait!  They are ducks! They have wings to stretch, not arms!  What would that look like?  But wait again, the words said they get up – maybe they should stand up! They stand, stretch their wings some more, and begin to quack.

I finish the line: “….they always say ‘Good day’.”  Group three must be the ones who are already six years old.  They are good with the concept of Ducks. They have no problem imagining them getting up in the morning.  They are simply waiting for any directions to follow.  They decide that the directions are to always say “Good day”.  They turn to each other and begin to say “Good day.  Good day.  Good day.  Good day.”  As there are so few of them in this group, they quickly run out of people to say good day to, so they get up and go over to the Morning Ducks.  Here they meet a language barrier, because the Morning Ducks didn’t get that far in the song and so have no idea why the Good Day Ducks are saying good day, and the Good Day Ducks can’t figure out why the Morning Ducks just keep quacking.  Finally, the Good Day Ducks decide to go bilingual, and add some quacks in with their Good Days.  Aha, a breakthrough!  Now the Morning Ducks and the Good Day Ducks can communicate. “Quack, good day, good day, quack!”

Meanwhile, the group one Basic Ducks have finished exploring their concise understanding of “duckiness” and are now spinning and sliding around on the floor, trying to snap each other with their duck beak hands.  They have already forgotten that these hands represent a duck beak.  In fact, they have forgotten that we are doing anything about ducks, but they do know that this sure is a great game!

Snap, quack, good day!  And this all happened within the time it took me to sing, “When ducks get up in the morning, they always say good day.”

The End. (Quack!)


  1. Laughed* so * out loud!! We must release your mom's "secret blogger within" because that was good!

  2. ROFL that was funny!!

    ~Jamie Joyce


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