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Living Rhythms Hands-On African Drumming

Living Rhythms Hands-On African Drumming

Living Rhythms provides hands-on residencies and interactive assembly performances in the arts of West African drumming and dance.  We provide a drum for each student, and our programs are exciting, engaging and thoroughly educational!  For the last 19 years, we have delivered our programs at

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Living Rhythms Hands-On West African Drumming


Program Description

Living Rhythms provides workshops, hands-on residencies, and interactive assembly performances in the arts of West African drumming and dance. The Living Rhythms programs are 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. Suitable for K through 12, our


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Program Detail

Program type: Assembly/Performance, Professional Development, Residency, Virtual/Online Program, Workshop
Artistic Discipline: Dance, Multi-discipline, Music
Subject: Dance, Literacy, Music, Social Studies / History
Population Served Grade 1, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12, Grade 2, Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8, Grade 9, Kindergarten, Pre-K, Teachers
Bilingual: No
Available dates:

September  1 – June 15

Available times:

8 AM – 3 PM

Length of :Program Multi-day or day long residency featuring an opening assembly performance of 45 to 60 minutes, followed by three hands-on workshops of 30-60 minutes each (ideally up to 6 workshops a day)
Space / technical requirements:

For assembly performance: stage or gymnasium with two wireless lapel mics. For residencies/hands-on workshops: a classroom or similar sized space with enough open area to sit up to 30 students in a semi-circle.


Charlotte Mecklenburg County and surrounding area

Fees / Ticketing:

-$450.00 Self-guided Online West African Drumming Workshop Series 

The Living Rhythms E-Learning course consists of a series of self-directed instructional videos found on a website easily accessible with a simple password. Specifically designed around the Common Core, participants play along with found-object instruments available at home or in the classroom, such as pots, pans, boxes, tabletops, etc. In addition to the videos, teachers, and students also have access to a number of downloadable pdf resources, including background information about the history and culture of the drums, plus lesson plans for teachers. The lessons remain available for an entire semester (Aug – Dec, and Jan – June) and can be used for an unlimited number of students. (Please see attached PDF for more information)

$775 for a Half Day West African Drumming Program – Three Hands-on West African drumming workshops for up to 30 students each workshop. This includes one artist educator and a drum for each student to use.

-$1,200 for a Full Day Residency or Hands-on Workshops, West African Drum and Dance Program:

—-A)  an opening assembly performance for up to 1,000 students followed by a half-day of hands-on drum and dance residency/workshops ( 3 workshops) with up to 30 drums for student use;

—-B) up to two assembly performances for up to 1,000 students, no hands-on workshops;

—-C)  a full day of hands-on drum and dance residency/workshops (6 workshops), no assembly performances.

-$3,200 for a Three Day West African Drum and Dance Residency with Culminating Student Performance

Assembly performances are generally 45 to 60 minutes in length. Each residency/hands-on workshop includes up to  30 imported African drums for students to use, 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 workshops, 30 minutes between assembly performances, and 30 minutes for lunch).

For the residency, we will prepare one grade level of students for a drum performance on the third day. The first two days will be half days and the final day will be a full day. The workshops take place in the morning or afternoon during the first two days, with the final workshop on the morning of the third day with the performance in the afternoon.




NC Standard Course of Study:

R4 – Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone (in our case, identify and respond to key rhythmic phrases that occur in the genre of West African drumming which convey instructions to the musicians to start, stop or change the music.)

R7 – Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words (in our case, evaluate the number and pitch of notes in a rhythmic pattern played on a drum, and demonstrate the ability to integrate the pattern to the degree that the pattern can be reinterpreted and repeated back.)

SL1 – Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively (in our case, responding to a rhythmic idea by creating a complementary pattern, thereby collaborating with fellow participants to create a musical conversation.)

NC Essential Standards:

From the Arts Education, Music K-8 and 9-12 Standards:
K-P.MR.1 – Understand the interacting elements to respond to music and music performances

From the Arts Education, Dance K-8 and 9-12 Standards:
K-P.C.1 – Understand cultural, historical, and interdisciplinary connections with dance

From the Social Studies, K-2 Standards:
2.C.1 – Understand how various cultures influence communities

Supporting Materials

Living Rhythms E-Learning Program Description



Conducts educational programming for 2 or more years: Yes
Performs criminal background checks on staff with youth contact: Yes
Maintains general liability insurance (Individuals and organizations listed in this Directory can provide proof of insurance upon request. ASC does not hold copies of current documentation for providers): Yes
Three letters of recommendation / references available: Yes
Provides study guides for teachers and or students: Yes
Connects to State and or Common Core Curriculum Standards: Yes
Provides tools to assess student learning (workshops and residencies): Yes
Provides scholarship and reduced fees: Yes
Conducts ongoing assessments of program quality: Yes


  • A quick look at Living Rhythms school programs, and Arts-in-Education offering of TTM Winston Salem.


Brad Oliver

Program Manager K-12 Arts Education

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools



Mary Siebert

Arts Director

Arts Based Elementary School, Winston Salem NC


Cancellation Policy

If an engagment is cancelled for any reason, the parties will mutually agree on a new date for the event