As this was my first formal exhibit opportunity, I had spent a lot of time at home prepping my resources and trying to figure out how to set up the table attractively. The day before I left, I came upon some sets of bumble bee erasers at my local dollar store. If you are a Kodály teacher and know the same repertoire as I do, you will know that I could not leave the store without them. As I did my final packing, I threw in enough erasers to create a certain musical phrase…just in case they came in handy.
With my exhibit table all set up, Teacher’s and Student’s books displayed clearly, lapboards sitting out prominently, it soon became apparent that the most interesting item there were the dollar store bumble bee erasers! Music teachers seemed to be in disagreement with my version of the first phrase of the Bee, Bee, Bumblebee song (so la soso mi) and I frequently found the ‘la’ bee moved to a ‘mi’ placement. Soon, I was moving the bee back to a ‘la’ position more out of amusement and as a challenge for interaction than anything else!
Adorable (and not for sale!) as the bees were, they also allowed me to chat to teachers who had come from far and wide to attend the conference. Once they had played with the bees, I was able to point out that they were sitting on a lapboard staff that was taken from my book of 25 dry-erase templates designed to assist young musicians learn about reading and writing music at the same time as cutting back on the use of paper and photocopying.
Reactions to the book and lapboards varied from non-committal passing glances to gasps of delight and cries of ‘why didn’t I think of that first!’ and ‘this is exactly what I have been trying to figure out!’.
By the middle of the second morning, my ‘magic’ hat was almost overflowing with draw entries, and Jeremy Davidson was delighted to win a copy of ‘Listen…Think…Write!’ (Teacher’s Book). I am looking forward to hearing if it has been useful in his classroom yet … Jeremy?
As well as promoting ‘Listen…Think…Write!’, I had other duties to perform and workshops to attend. Stay tuned!