Living Rhythms: A Hands-On Exploration of West Afr...
With a drum for each student, the Living Rhythms program is a joyful exploration of West African drumming and dancing that can include residencies, workshops, or assembly performances for the whole school, followed by a day of hands-on workshops with a drum for each student! Suitable for K through 12, our educational and highly participatory program engages students in an interactive investigation of the art, culture, and history of West Africa, with strong connections to the Common Core State Standards and the North Carolina Essential Standards. Most importantly, the Living Rhythms program benefits the personal development of each student by reinforcing the concepts of cultural diversity, tolerance, and responsible world-citizenship.
During the residency or hands-on workshop segment of our program, a drum is provided for each student in a given class, and participants learn music and songs that represent the folkloric traditions of several different African ethnic groups. Students then learn the dances that historically accompany the musical selections. In addition, students get a first-hand experience of how the values of listening, teamwork and respect directly contribute to our success – both artistically and personally. Each residency or workshop includes up to 30 imported African drums for students to play, can accommodate one class at a time (up to 30 students) and can run from 30 – 60 minutes depending on the school schedule (we do request 10 minutes between each session and 30 minutes for lunch).
During the assembly performance segment of our program, students are engaged in an interactive exploration of the drums and dance of West Africa. With non-stop audience participation, the entire student body becomes a part of the music and dance, thus learning about traditional forms of cultural art while also sharpening their abilities to communicate and work together. Students learn that their own individuality can be expressed in a way that contributes to the group, and that artistic expression has deep and lasting value in the lives of all human beings, regardless of age, race, culture or gender. The assembly performance generally runs for 45 minutes, is suitable for up to 1,000 students at a time, and features a surprise teacher participation twist as the grand finale.