After returning hot and tired from a day on the town, I returned to check if my suitcase was at the reception desk and **TAH-DAH** it was there! (I felt very sorry for the reception clerk as she put up with many questions from me the first two days.) I had never been so happy to see my clothes in all my life. I took a shower and then made it to the opening session just in time.
Ranier Kotzian, the course director, opened with playing a body percussion and xylophone piece. Then he had everyone stand when he called their country. I was suprised at the diversity represented here. Over 30 countries... WOW! After the faculty were instroduced and some announcements, all 90+ participants made our way to another room to learn some songs and dances. We learned at least six, maybe more songs, including one that is a hillarious "fighting" dance from Sweden, taught to us by Doug Goodkin.
More exhausted than before, I headed to the room and went to bed...
This morning, I woke up late! I rushed to get ready and hoped that I had everything I needed. We rode to the Institut and made it exactly at 9am and slightly late for the first class. We were all divided up into 4 sections and were able to choose 2 afternoon sessions to attend for the week. My first session was "Foundations of the Schulwerk" with Ulrike Jungmair. She led us in some great warm-up excercises for the body (and mind) and then led us through some preparatory rhythm movements. The piece we worked on was one that called to mind goats and goat-herders climbing in the mountains. A wonderful piece from Volume IV of Music for Children that I did not know.
After debriefing, was a short break and a session by Christina Wieblitz on singing and technique. She gave us such wonderful ideas on how to warm up the children's voices and then led us in a beautiful round in voice and movement by Soili Perkio, a Finnish Schulwerk teacher.
Next, we had a long lunch break that I spent shopping for food at the bio market. This super market was not as tricky as I thought, but was still a trying experience. (I forgot to mention that in the morning it was raining cats and dogs during both sessions. By lunch time it was not raining, but there were dark clouds in the distance. I was hoping to get the shopping done in the good weather.)
After waling my groceries back to the room and getting a bite to eat, I found a shortcut back to the Institut for the afternoon sessions.
More on these tomorrow!