Song writing, creative dance, storytelling workshops
Jen is passionate about delivering high quality arts experiences to children through dance, storytelling and music. As a trained dancer/choreographer and creative movement teacher, Jen teaches storytelling and creative movement and songwriting to children in kindergartens and schools (both primary and secondary).
In 2014 Jen began a pilot series of songwriting workshops with children in her local kindergarten. This became a wonderful collaborative project between Jen, the educators and children. After another series of workshops in 2015, Jen now has a finely honed songwriting series titled Orchard Songs which she is able to take to Kindergartens and Primary Schools throughout South Australia. These workshops run between 4 and 8 weeks, in 3 parts: Writing four songs; Notating the songs through words, dance and pictures; and making a cd of four songs with the children’s voices.
The songs are sung together many times over the duration of the workshop series and the children will often be heard singing the songs around the Kindergarten or at home, experimenting with new songs of their own. A number of parents reported to the Kindy staff that their child had spontaneously begun making up songs around the house as the realisation dawned upon them that there is a song in anything!
“I am interested in hearing the stories the children are telling me, and invariably they have myriad ideas for songs just in their everyday conversations. The communal drawing exercise sparks many of these ideas and they love to hear their pictures in song. I usually find that connecting their ideas to the broader school/kindergarten curriculum is very organic and child-led, taking us all to surprising, delightful places.”
Creative movement Workshops
Jen holds a bachelor of Arts in Dance and has taught creative movement and dance to children of all ages. Jen has also performed in children’s theatre storytelling shows, most recently in StoryPorts performance Sky Feast in schools and kindergartens.
Jen teaches with a strong emphasis on the child’s own movement style allowing each child to develop confidence in moving and creating. Often working from stories in books, the classes unfold with activities related to the text, dramatic enactments and emotionally connecting to the story themes and characters. Playing with the qualities of dance and effort principles, Jen develops each class with a strong sense of play and positive group experience.
Jen works alongside the curriculum or areas of enquiry, exploring themes through dance, singing, songwriting and art making.
For a detailed outline of the Orchard Songs songwriting or Creative Kids Dance workshop series, please contact Jen.Arts Education Report