It’s that time of year again, schools have broken up and kids are on the loose craving for excitement. Parents are pulling out their hair trying to keep them amused. What better way to do so than with a trip down to Rosemoor for a bash on the drums and a lesson in rhythm and African Culture.
“ Lots of enthusiastic happy faces as the musical session got under way”
It all happened on August 2 when, with the help of a top percussionist Samuel Nkrumah Yeboah we were able to host two open air music sessions throughout the day, where visitors to the garden were encouraged to join in. Due to reasonable weather the event took place in the woodland picnic area ‘The Brash’. We had a very impressive turn out including familiar faces that attended some of the previous year’s world music events.
“A quick introduction to Rhythm with myself playing djembe and Samuel playing a Dunun”
The sessions started with an introduction to African drumming by Samuel and me. A musical demonstration took place before letting all get involved. We armed them with maracas, tambourines, sticks and egg shakers and of course African drums. The children then experimented with varying sound qualities through which we were able to teach some traditional rhythms. Samuel then broke the group up involving a sequence of drum and song. He had a group singing traditional Ghana song in sequence over the top of the other groups drum pattern and alternated back and forth keeping everybody on their toes; this was very amusing to all and went down a storm.
“ Another demonstration and drum-athon”
We winded the session down each time by playing some call and respond musical games letting the children and parents create their own musical rhythmic patterns going round the circle taking a turn being as creative as they like. Others would then attempt to repeat the pattern together a number of times. This can teach them to be confident in their style, showing them rhythm doesn’t have to be set piece but can be free in expression.
We finished off by letting the kids have a musical jam of their own, involving nearly all of the instruments. Samuel and I walked around giving guidance and one-to-one tuition where needed. All participants left with gleaming smiles and warm musical glows, hopefully inspired to take up an instrument of their own; all in all a brilliant day. This was just one of many events taking place at Rosemoor this summer holiday as part of the “kids go free” offer.
“The Great Garden Adventure starts here with African Drumming in the Brash”
Starring Johnny Bongo and Samuel Nkrumah Yeboah