Summer 2014, my first at Camp Yachad has been a very special experience for me both as an educator and musician. The staff is among the most professional and caring I have worked with and the Chaverim campers are just a delight. My background as a certified “Music Together” teacher, experience in early childhood music education and passion for Jewish Learning has made this a perfect fit for me.
Each morning the entire Chaverim group assembles for “Boker Tov" (good morning) and we start with a musical selection to get the Ruach (spirit) cooking. I make sure the music also provides a lesson. Yesterday we listened to “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” from Bob Marley. The kids loved it!
In my classes I incorporate singing, dancing, and movement utilizing live and recorded music and rhythm instruments including egg shakers, rhythm sticks, and drums from around the world. We work on developing music skills including rhythm, pitch, dynamics (loud, soft, fast and slow) and tonality in a fun but systematic way. And, of course we cover the big hits like Itsy Bitsy Spider, Wheels on the Bus etc. to satisfy the “purists.”
I have for many years performed as a professional guitarist and pianist specializing in contemporary Jewish music and have performed in various settings throughout the area. So, when I was invited to join the SHABBATONES” – Camp Yachad’s very own Jewish Rock Band, I jumped. Led by our Co-Director Mike Goldstein, The Shabbatones rock the camp every Friday afternoon to usher in Shabbat in a big way and it’s a blast!
When I think of how blessed we all are, campers and staff, to experience the joy of play and immersion in Jewish culture and values here at camp I can only pray that all children, in Israel and throughout the world are safe and protected and enjoy the freedoms and experiences we do here at camp every day.