Kids’ Shows in Osaka

A long time ago the business model of Genki English was that in order to keep the Elementary School visits free, I’d also do private shows where the kids pay to attend. These did work well, but the amount of work for the people who organise the events is just way too much! So three weeks ago today’s gig was looking well dodgy!

But the organisers and I all started putting a lot of extra effort in and things actually worked out OK. There was also the idea ( not mine by the way!) of doing a “mini genki” show for little kids and their parents. Now that idea didn’t particularly grab me, but people wanted to try it so I had a go! And it worked, but you have to give up any semblance of trying to act like an adult and just go mad like a kid!!! I can’t think of anyone who’d want my job, from Friday having tough negotiations with hard-nosed Osaka businessmen, to today jumping around like a madman in front of a hall of kindergarten kids and their Mums!!

But it worked, just by going over the top, a nice mix of Genki English songs and Kids English songs plus a couple of phonics songs and it was great. Actually at the beginning I was really surprised at how fast the kids were picking up the phonics songs, they were really good. Then I came to do the “g” song and they could sing it even before I’d taught the melody, so then it twigged that they must have the CD at home!!! But it was pretty cool as the CDs only been out 3 weeks! Parents aren’t half into phonics, all the phonics CDs had sold out even before the show started, and the superpacks all went just after the show!

People were also asking how come I can jump so high, I think it comes from carrying around 15 kilos of baggage on my shoulders all week!

Then a 45 minutes Q&A session with the parents, and then a show for elementary school kids. It’s always difficult in these private shows as the teachers often ask for “high level” stuff, but the problem is that the kids may have studied the lower level stuff, they can’t actually use it straight away!! So that’s why in the beginning I always do test stuff and then see how far they can go. Although actually it’s the “dekiru, dekiru, dekiru” way of thinking that’s the most important indicator of how well they can do. So anyway due to popular request I did What are you doing? ( very chilled out song) and the Harry Potter game, which the kids and teachers all loved even though the kids were determined to just run and save themselves rather than helping the other Harry Potters! Then “Where are you going?” ( always a big hit), a few other songs and even the phonics “l” song. So everyone seemed quite happy!!

So yesterday the teachers all seemed to get a lot out of it, the kids and parents today were all happy and then at the end the finances also worked out, so eventhough there was a huge amount of prep work to do, everything worked out OK. So thanks to the organisers for all your amazing hard work!! The trick now is to find a more sustainable way of doing this!

But for now I’m shattered and I’m off to sleep on the shinkansen back to Hakata.

Richard Graham

Hello, I'm Richard Graham. When I was a kid I found school to be sooooo boring... So I transformed my way of teaching. I listened to what the kids were really wanting to say and taught it in ways they really wanted to learn. The results were magical. Now I help teachers just like you teach amazing lessons and double your incomes!