The Bravo Program is so very grateful to the Ojai Women’s Fund for all of their support on behalf of the children of the Ojai Valley. This grant will further our goal of having weekly music classes for all kindergarten, first, second, and third graders, now including Sunset Elementary.
In human development we know that imagination, intelligence, and play are the same thing. They strengthen the brain. In music class, the teachers come with us and they get to play. It is an important opportunity for them to observe their children as we create the habit of singing, participation, and cooperation.
Recently we played Bombalalom, which is a word from Brazil meaning “our place of peace and happiness”. We sang the song with the words, and the solfeggio hand signs (do, re, mi, etc.). Sometimes we find a partner and put our hands together with them while we sing. We look into each other’s eyes. Joy sprouts forth! The children raise their hands and offer their own places of peace that have meaning to them. Some children say, “My treehouse”, “In my bed with a book”, “Being with my class”, “On my grandma’s lap”. Then one child raised his hand, and I asked where his Bombabalom place was. He shared very softly, his eyes gazing up to the ceiling, “The whole earth”. An entire class of 6 year-old children sighed, and nodded, and smiled.