Jazz Art 2-15-16

Bird and DizBy Awnali Mills

The past week has been cr-azy!  We are on a storytime break, so we’ve been doing the usual school visits, and having schools visit us—more on that later.  We also had a major ice and snow event for which the library closed early. But in the midst of all that craziness, we had a Jazz Art program that I totally ripped off from Green Bean Teen Queen.  Not just ripped off, but followed almost to the letter, without the fancy “did you know” fact wall.  Many thanks to the creative Miss Sarah whose programs fill my heart with joy 🙂

Oh, and did I mention that the program was the same afternoon as the ice and snow event?  People still showed up, and had a great time.

We danced to Ain’t Nobody Here but Us Chickens from the CD Jazz for Kids: Sing, Clap, Wiggle and Shake.  I was pleased that the grownups (every grownup stayed for the program) all got up and danced with their kids.  Then, everyone sat down and I started the PowerPoint.

Or, I tried to.

If you’ve never had a new building, here is a fact: Things Will Go Wrong.

Our brand new building is full of wonderful technology.  We’ve been struggling with this technology as the bugs get worked out.  In a typical Murphy’s Law moment, the PowerPoint that had worked perfectly before the program froze up and refused to move from the introductory screen I had up when the children arrived.

So, we winged it.  We’re librarians and professionals, and that’s the way we roll.  My coworker Meghan carried the iPad around and showed everyone the pictures of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie while I read short biographies that I had compiled (and printed out), with some funny anecdotes about the performers.  Then, Meghan read a quote from the PowerPoint that Dizzy Gillespie had said about Charlie Parker being the other half of his heartbeat, which I thought was very kind, and a lovely thing to say.

Then, Meghan read Bird and Diz by Gary Golio.  When we bought the book, we didn’t realize that the whole book is one huge fold-out.  We pulled it all out to show the kids, then quickly folded it back up, and Meg read it by turning the pages.

To finish, we passed out black construction paper (drawing chalk was already on the tables) and let people draw while we played Salt Peanuts.  After the first run through, I asked if anyone wanted to share their drawings.  One girl did, but then an adult (yes, I gave all the adults paper, too, and they drew as diligently as the children did) said that he didn’t think they were done drawing, and could they listen to the music again?  And they did.  Twice more, in fact.  I LOVED watching the heads bop around while the fingers drew and drew.  I think they probably could have drawn for another half hour, given more paper and more music.  So, the whole ice, snow, and technology plagued program became a wonderful family program that people really enjoyed.

That makes me happy.  Oh, and our hard-working tech people figured out that we had a bad connection in our tech closet, and promptly fixed it for us.  Which also makes me happy.


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