Today I wanted to share with you the best strategy I have found for combatting those over excited 4 – 10 year olds when they refuse to be quiet so you can speak ha ha ha.
You know the ones:
* the ones who love to chat and tell you all their stories during class
* and those little ones who are so full of excitement that they are unable to be quiet when you are ready to speak
* or those little dears who want to keep practicing and tapping after the music has stopped and you are trying to impart a crucial piece of your tapping puzzle to them.
For years I found myself yelling over the music to be heard, yelling over the children’s chitter chatter or yelling over the class and their tapping. And before long I found myself with no voice at all. And with my average of 33 hours of teaching tap per week, strain on my vocal chords really did become a problem.
And then – I had a brain wave! A stroke of pure genius ha ha ha ha [ if only it had come 20 years earlier]
And this ” stroke of pure genius” is a super easy strategy that you to can implement in your classes too.
Right now – today.
No training necessary ha ha ha.
So here is my little tutorial for you.
All I do is raise my hands above my head and twinkle my fingers like little stars. Accompanied by a lovely smile as I look around the class.
That is it!
End of – job done – happy days!
And how does this brilliant technique work you may be asking?
Well I quite simply explain to the children how class is going to work from now on and it goes something like this:
” Heh Guys, I have a new plan for us all to use in tap class from today onwards and it’s called the Happy Hands – because we all like to be happy at tap class don’t we? And it’s not nice when I have to yell is it? So – instead of me having to yell loudly when I want to tell you something important, I am just going to show you my Happy Hands! [ I demonstrate my sparkly fingers in action ]. And as soon as you notice me doing the Happy Hands – you simply stop whatever else you are doing and do them too. And very quickly you will all be ready to hear my important news on the step we are learning and I will not have to yell at all. And the Happy Hands are so much fun too. Let’s have a practise now? Blah Blah Blah……..”
I have always found this strategy to work an absolute treat.
First of all – you will have that ” really good child” – the one that likes to “tittle tat ” on all the other children for being naughty. That child will always be the first to get their Happy Hands into the air and then make sure to encourage those around them to be quiet and do the Happy Hands too. So you usually end up with a little group of children doing your bidding on your behalf which is great.
As I get into the older grades I substitute the Happy Hands with another visual cue – it might be tapping my head or making the letter “T ” with both hands to communicate ” Time Out” or ” From The Top”!
Hand signals are really a great way of communicating in a tap class! And you can use whatever you like really. I must admit that I often use the Happy Hands in older classes too as it keeps the mood light ha ha ha ha.
So – there you have it.
A little teaching tip from you to me.