French Song Singing

by Julie Lemay

Julie LeMayWith fingers fluttering like birds’ wings, feet stomping, and bodies swaying, Janet Rayor took the children to France in song on July 11 during summer Braille Camp.

Janet Rayor is a singer with Rouge, a French Cabaret entertainment quartet comprised of a violinist, guitarist, and accordionist. Janet formed the group in 1995, and they perform at festivals, parties, fundraisers, weddings, dances, and concerts.

Janet pats a boy's leg so he can feel the beat of the music

As nine children sat in a circle, Janet sat down in their midst and taught them four French folk songs, interpreting the words as they sang along. The songs included a child’s bedtime verse sung in a round, a lively, fast-paced song about a larkspur, a silly ditty about a tiny husband, a cat and a mouse, and one about a father’s garden.

Each song included many hand motions, which engendered giggles and much enthusiasm.

It was time to be up on their feet as Janet played a CD, each child receiving special attention as she walked around the circle demonstrating the beat of the guitar on their shoulders or legs. While holding hands, Janet called out some simple dance steps to accompany the music. One of the older children, Christopher, showed a wonderful curiosity about how the songs were recorded on the CD, and about where France is located. A truly delightful 45 minutes spent in musical communication.