EOUMB/Wiz Kids Summer Band Camp
Week Three: We are going to try
to take more photos and videos this week to show you what goes on
at a Wiz Kid/EOUMB Summer Band Camp.
Each day begins at 9:00 AM with
Wiz Kid lessons. Today's lesson is about the history of escapes
in magic, and the books on the table are from the Wiz Kid
library, about Harry Houdini and other famous escape artists,
including a book by our own Wiz Kid Qua-Fiki, who wrote Escapes For Teens.
Wiz Kid Jim is demonstrating how to perform one of the rope
escapes from Qua-Fiki's book. They also learned how to perform
one of Houdini's own rope escapes, among others.
The Wiz Kids also learn the
history and origin of the magic tricks as well as the basic
principles of magic and how they evolved over time. Here Wiz Kid
Jim shows the connection between the escape shown above and a
"clothesline escape" with handkerchiefs that is much
older, but which shares the same basic principles.
After magic lessons, a favorite
Wiz Kid activity is learning to ride a RipStik. Wiz Kid Zaire
(from East Orange) is just beginning, but by the end of the day,
he is able to zip around quite well on the RipStik. As soon as
our small unicycle arrives in the mail, he'll be able to try that
The afternoon session begins with
the East Orange Unified Marching Band formation and drill
Then small groups are formed to
work on special marching drills that will be needed soon. Our
first public performance will be during the last week of July so
everyone gets serious about looking like a UMB.
The beginning instrumentalists
work on newly donated xylophones and a keyboard to learn to read
and write the music they will eventually be playing on their Band
instruments. The dancers work on choreographing their dance steps
even before they hear the Band playing.
One of our EOUMB Fans noticed
that our little flautist had difficulty reaching the keys on her
regular metal flute, and so donated a "J-Flute" for her
use, on which she can play her practice songs with no trouble.
When her arms grow longer, we can "straighten out" the
J-Flute and then she will be able to play a regular flute from
Our beginning Alto Saxophonists
take lessons from EOUMB Alumni on playing a concert scale as well
as playing one of the pieces that will be used in performance at
the end of the month. Fortunately, both are quick learners on
both the Alto Sax and the RipStiks!
The beginning percussionists are
finding out if they have the stamina to carry those heavy drums
long enough to get through the performance. They all know how to
beat the drums, but will they get tired of carrying them? The
cloth towels on top of the drums mute the sound so the neighbors
The last hour of the day is spent
in a classroom setting, learning to classify fractions under the
leadership of Saied Beckford. They even get homework which will
be checked tomorrow. Then everyone writes in their journals about
the new things each person learned that day. Since we aren't
quite ready to play a closing Band song, we fill in the final
time with RipStik games of skill, for which there are ice cream
sandwiches as prizes. Yum!
The Wiz Kid Magic Section was TOP
SECRET MAGIC stuff, so no photos. The subject was Card Packet
Tricks and everyone got to make and take a set of trick magic
cards to work on. Enough said! Afterwards, the RipStik time
produced some new RipStik riders, but everyone was too busy to
After lunch, it was calm enough
so that our photographer, Elijah Goode, was able to start taking
photos. Above is Zaire taking a beginning trumpet lesson from
Alumnus Joshua Reserve. Joshua plays sousaphone, but knows enough
about brass instruments to give Zaire some tips on fingering and
Alumnus Lloyd Tomlinson teaches a
combined class of trumpets and alto saxophone players. They are
all learning to play "My Country 'Tis of Thee", and
miraculously learn to play the entire first line of the song by
the end of the session.
The drummers learn their drum
patterns playing on wooden stools, under the direction of Elijah
Shy. Note in the background the table covered with strawberry
plants "adopted" by various Band members and closely
watched daily as the flowers gradually turn into berries. A close
watch is also kept on the grapes growing in the front yard, as
well as on the green apples hanging overhead on the tree in the
far right background of the photo below.
Finally, everyone gets together
for some final close-order drill with instruments, directed by Ms
Jacqueline Saez (far right foreground) and many alumni volunteers
are interspersed with the beginners and experienced Band members.
The Band was visited by some potential new members
and their parents today, so tomorrow we may have more faces to
Wednesday : 07/13/16
Today's magic class focused on
stage magic and making the props from cardboard and foamboard.
The class made "What's Up?", saw a
demonstration on how to print and make "Haunted House", and then a lesson in how to measure and cut a Three Fold Screen Production Prop from foamboard. This is in preparation for performing
stage magic at various locations where we have been invited for
some summer events.
This was followed by Xylophone
lessons in sight reading for our three newest members, plus
anyone else that wanted to join in either on the Xylophone or one
of the keyboard instruments.
The intermediate group of RipStik
beginners are now able to ride down hill from one end of the yard
to the other, but still haven't mastered the art of the RipStik
"wiggle" that moves them up the slight hill to get back
to where they started. It will come with time and practice.
Gaaah! Suddenly I turned around
and there was Wiz Kid Elijah Shy towering over me as he gets
ready to practice a stilt walk in the park this evening. He also
tried juggling on stilts for the first time, and learned to catch
a ball tossed to him by a helper from the ground and then work it
into his juggling.
Director Jacqueline Saez and her
daughter Miriah worked with the newest members to get them ready
for the evening's Park event as Flag Twirlers and Dancers.
Wiz Kid Jim works with Wiz Kid
Morris on moving past the first phase of scarf juggling into the
second phase of continuous cascade juggling. It's a little
difficult in the slight breeze, so Morris makes a start, then
goes indoors to practice out of the wind.
Wiz Kid Isaac is having fun
playing with the electronic keyboard's ability to change rhythms
and add chords, so Jim turns it into a quick lesson on chord
progressions by grabbing a xylophone and showing how each chord
progression Isaac chooses can be used in various songs he knows.
This is also an example of the "open ended" educational
environment of our summer band camp, which turns play
into instruction followed by an incentive for practice
and so on. Lessons in the backyard are everywhere, from plucking
and eating one's first raspberry, to learning to identify,
observe, and not kill interesting spiders and insects, and then
writing about these new ideas and experiences in a daily journal
using and correcting words never attempted nor spelled before.
On her first day, Wiz Kid Naja
(left) was feeling kind of bored and out of place, but now she
has a new friend and teacher in Anna Seck, and is learning to be
an EOUMB dancer.
With help from Ms Saez and Wiz
Kid Jazmine, the two newest Wiz Kids, Madison and Taylor, spend
some time getting acquainted with balancing on a RipStik as a
first step towards riding one.
Instrumental music practice
reveals a new sousaphone player, Anna Seck, being trained by
alumnus Joshua Reserve. She has already learned to play a scale
and we were able to print out a fingering chart for the notes
above and below the basic scale.
Wiz Kid Kassidie is happy that
one of the new members, Taylor, will be playing flute with her,
once she has learned the starting fingering by playing a
recorder. They begin with the old classic "Hot Cross
Buns" for the first three notes.
A group of EOUMB/ Wiz Kids walks
over to Elmwood Park in East Orange to perform community service
for the Recreation Department's Movie Night. We only have a few
photos. I'll try to get more. Above you see Elijah Shy walking
around the park on his stilts.
Because last night's community
service at Elmwood Park's "Movie Night" went so late,
very few sleepy-eyed Wiz Kids / Band Members showed up today, so
it was a good day for review and reflection.
We reviewed twisting balloon
animals, giving everyone a chance to show what they remembered.
One of the new ones that Jim showed was the pink elephant balloon
that Miriah is getting ready to twist. Miriah also reviewed her
sponge ball magic and card tricks from previous days' magic
lessons, and relearned the rather complicated story lines for
After lunch, Samuel received the
first piece of fall band music, that he found baffling until it
was explained to him by alumnus Joshua Reserve, who had played
the piece many times in the past few years of high school.
There were only three drummers in
today's drumline, but they reviewed past drum beats and added
some new ones. L-R: Wiz Kids Noah, Khamani, and Elijah.
The camp session ended with a
tremendous thunderstorm drenching, which scattered everyone into
picking up and protecting all the equipment and then dashing for
the safety of indoors. Then Ms Saez organized most of them into
putting in another few hours of community service at Joi's
The long walk down Central Avenue
in the hot sun that followed the heavy rainstorm helped to dry
out those who had gotten soaked in the rain. To continue the
story of community service at Joi's
Angels on South Arlington Avenue, click
Friday's Magic Lesson was on
Sleight of Hand with Coins, for which no photos were taken
because everyone was busy slamming coins through the tabletop and
making them spin on command. But afterwards, the Xylophones and
electronic keyboards were brought out and music sight reading
began. Isaac is working on a keyboard arrangement of "Heart
and Soul", while Anna is just starting on "Twinkle,
Twinkle" for Xylophone.
When sight reading class is over,
Naja and Anna can't wait to begun working on their dance
choreography, while in the background, Jazmine is still working
on balancing on the RipStik. In the far background, we can just
spot Isaac still pouring his "Heart and Soul" into
learning to play the electronic keyboard with the help of alumnus
L-R: Taylor and Madison have
decided to begin juggling lessons with Jim, so they begin by
learning with just two juggling scarves, tossing them up and
catching them in the opposite hands. They were inspired by seeing
Elijah juggling beanbags while riding on a RipStik, and decided
they wanted to be able to do that someday, too! This is where it
Elijah (right) wants a turn at
working on the keyboard himself, and decides the only way to get
some time on it is to assist Lloyd in teaching Isaac to play
"Heart and Soul."
After lunch (pizza today!) Isaac,
Jazmine, Noah and Elijah get seriously working on their drum
cadences. This ends the photos for today, but not the work. Saied
Beckford gave a follow-up lesson on fractions, and there was more
working on instruments, marching exercises, caterpillar study,
RipStik riding and so on until it was time for the remaining Wiz
Kids to head back to Joi's Angels to finish the job
of community service that began yesterday.