On Saturday, September 29th, we had our first Junior Jam. It went very well. We had a welcome song, dance party, and a sing-along. We also had a stretch break and a drum circle with an empowerment phrase. The phrase was “I can do anything.” I picked this phrase because autistic kids are often told they can’t do anything because they have a disability. I was told I couldn’t do a certain task because I am blind. This phrase reminds me that my blindness doesn’t hold me back from doing what I want. I want to show these kids at a young age that they can presume competence in themselves, even when others tell them they can’t.
The kids were singing and dancing with scarves during the dance party. We played lots of songs, anywhere from Disney to little kid songs. The parents had a great time watching the kids as they danced and sang all the songs.
This was my first Junior Jam, and I have to say that there were some challenges that I faced. This was my first time co-leading, and I had to learn how to communicate and advocate for myself. I know that at the end of the jam session, I was very overwhelmed. However, I was able to process everything and change my perspective to be more positive and appreciate the experience.
There were lots of things I think that I did very well during this Junior Jam. I did a good job leading the drum circle with the empowering phrase. I think that was probably my favorite part of the jam. I also liked watching the kids have fun as they danced. Even though it was loud and noisy in the room, I tried to stay calm and have a good time with the kids.
Tomorrow, I will have a meeting with the rest of the Empowerment Jam Session Committee to discuss the Junior Jam and what we can do better. It is very important that we look at the strengths and weaknesses of our first Junior Jam. It is great to see little kids dancing and learning how to make music together. I hope that one day, Junior Jams can be a regular activity for our Jam Session Committee to facilitate all the time. Having the Junior Jam with little kids was the best thing that ever happened to me this weekend. My desire is to reproduce Junior Jams in the future so that all little kids, whether they are autistic or not, can enjoy making music with the rest of the world.