- Arts Integrated Education
- Cadence Company
- Care For The Earth
- Development Pathways
- Home Planet Earth
- Human Body School
- PAZ Stories
- Professional Development
- Rhythm & Coordination
The ‘work’ of Talking Hands Talking Feet is about encouraging creative education pathways. It’s about the moments when the spark of learning happens! One of our moms calls it ‘stealth learning’. We love that. One of our teacher collaborators describes it as – ‘back door learning’.
It’s true. Learning happens through the ‘back door’, or the subconscious mind, when you are fully captivated in something intensely creative, challenging, relevant and new. It happens when you’re ‘green’, ‘in the green’, as a first timer, a beginner. The challenge is – can we be first time, keen green beginners every time?
Here’s another quote which helps to paint a picture: “It’s easier to act your way into a new way of thinking than it is to think your way into a new way of acting.” (Millard Fuller)
It’s not ‘work’ at all. It’s more like, well…play!
Such a simple, yet powerful statement ~ walking together with one heart. A message to carry in one’s heart. Finding the unifying spirit between us, especially in the midst of so much conflict and division in a broken world.
For young humans, of every age, it is a fun and robust rallying song that connects us through rhythm and sentiment. We’ve sung it probably thousands of times in Talking Hands Talking Feet.
Here is one such example. Enjoy!
2 & 3 part rhythm groups. This wonderful rhythm activity was inspired by Paul’s time living in a small village in 1981 in the Barlovento region of Venezuela called Caño Negro where the whole village would gather around ‘tres tamboras’ (3 drums) each playing different compatible rhythms.
In our summer camps we take the children on a journey starting with individual simple rhythms, to learning how to listen, focus and respond to multiple rhythms spontaneously. Here are a few examples.
We hope you enjoy!
“It is easier to act your way into a new way of thinking, than it is to think your way into a new way of acting.” This beautiful bit of wisdom comes from Millard Fuller, who was the co-founder of Habitat for Humanity.
Is your heart in it?
The science of communication between the heart and the brain is called ‘neuro-cardiology’. At the cutting edge of that science is a whole field of more esoteric research to do with the intelligence of the heart, or ‘heart intelligence’. It speaks, in part, of the wholly beneficial release of neurochemicals when ‘our hearts are in’ whatever were doing, boosting wellbeing and immunity throughout the body.
When we ‘learn’ from our inner lives – our instincts, our hearts, our senses, our subtle feelings and knowings – things happen!
Our world is full of distractions pulling us this way and that, leaving our minds fragmented and frayed and our systems exhausted. Getting caught up in all that, is one of the most debilitating diseases of the 21st century. Mindfulness asks us to slow down, to observe what’s going on inside us and out, and to listen to our inner instructions.
Keeping our heads in the heart of the matter means not getting pulled this way and that by brain tangents. It means not getting persuaded by the ego in one of its many displays. Coming from the heart means you don’t have to hide behind a persona. It means staying with what is important, what rings true, not to the ego, but to the whole of you. It means being true to you – with courage, love and defiance.
We hope you enjoy our stick dance inspired by the rhythm in the song, Heart of the Matter, which was originally inspired by a bunch of teenagers ‘bustin’ grooves’ at Cadence Company summer camp.
In teaching the water cycle as part of our curriculum in Taking Hands Talking Feet, this open form improvisational dance developed. It’s really fun and easy for children of any age to experience and enjoy.
We encourage participants to dance with the whole body to find form and expression as they explore the journey of water.
Included in the Learning Portal is a water cycle video, map, narration and music. There are two versions of the music available; with and without vocals so it can be narrated live in a performance.
From the mysteries of the human mind to magical rainforests, to the life-giving waters, to the communication networks between trees, animals, plants, fungi and who knows what else, we live in a planet full of wonders.
The Rio Grande of the North American southwest is one such wonder. It is celebrated in the song entitled River of Wonder, and we hope you enjoy these accompanying videos of the song and learning the dance.
We so encourage making the study of geography a vibrant journey.
“Without geography, you’re nowhere.” ~unknown
“Geography is the subject which holds the key to our future.” ~ Michael Palin
“I like Geography best, he said, because your mountains and rivers hold the secret. Pay no attention to boundaries.” ~ Brian Andreas
The bilingual song Many Colors and its accompanying video are a helpful complement to social studies, humanities and geography by:
- Fostering fascination, respect and value for the incredible variety of wholesome human expression across the globe.
- Kindling wonder, research and creative participation in one’s home community, wherever it may be; its songs, stories, place names, obstacles and, its vision for the future.
- Encouraging intense curiosity, understanding and respect for the hopes and dreams of our brothers and sisters around the world, realizing that these hopes and dreams are often intimately the same as ours.
For those of you not in the United States, we encourage you to look at the workshop and see how it applies to our mutual world citizenship through working the 3 areas:
- Who are ‘we the people’?
- What do we say ‘no’ to?
- What are our rights?
September 17 is Constitution Day here in the U.S. It is intended to commemorate the forming and signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787. Public schools observe this day by providing historical context for the Constitution, exploring both the ‘letter’ and ‘spirit’ of the document, and its relevance today.
The USA is meant to be a Constitutional Democracy, with three co-equal branches of government that keep each other in check, so that no branch can violate the ordained limits of its authority. It is important for future generations to understand just how remarkable that is. Even more important is the preservation and continuance of this principle.
The Talking Hands Talking Feet song and workshop “We the People” provides a platform for learning about the Constitution in a heartfelt way. It is a marvelous way to kindle a feeling of civic engagement, passion and responsibility in young lives.
The Constitution is a living, imperfect document, meant to be understood, updated, defended, amended and embraced in the context of our times. It is designed to be a recourse against hypocrisy. Here is an opportunity to engage in a very real and relevant activity regarding the foundational principles of the United States of America as a generous and compassionate agency of care, respect, justice, honor and human dignity.
One anagram of the name ‘America’, is ‘I am care’.
We hope you and your students enjoy this valuable Constitution Day activity.
Dear kind-hearted teachers,
Talking Hands Talking Feet songs are made to be springboards into the subject areas. Riddle of the Planets gives clues about the members of our solar system, for your students to shout out the answers. Vamos A Caminar is an adventurous bilingual exploration of biomes and ecosystems.
We hope you and your beautiful students enjoy these video lessons.
With hearty thanks and encouragement,
Paul and Melanie Zeir