Dressed in traditional African garb, the ZUMIX African Drumming Ensemble performs ‘Gahu,’ a style of music from Ghana, for the crowd gathered at Fenway Park.
Had a blast performing with the ZUMIX Youth African Drumming Ensemble at Fenway Park this past Saturday. We were invited by Northeastern University to perform as part of their annual Family Day.
ZUMIX’s unique approach to youth development is evident in its Mission: Empowered youth who use music to make strong positive change in their lives, their communities, and the world. With kids like these, is it any wonder that ZUMIX won a 2011 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from the White House? READ MORE →
Had a great time performing with my student African Drumming ensembles last week at ZUMIX, the community music school in inner city East Boston where I started the African Drumming program in 2007. ZUMIX has grown a lot since then, recently winning the 2011 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from the White House.
Check out these three videos, the first featuring the ZUMIX beginning African Drumming Ensemble performing an adapted version of Gahu, a recreational style of music from the Ewe people of Ghana, West Africa:
And here’s the ZUMIX intermediate African Drumming Ensemble performing Atsiagbekor (a k a Agbekor), an Ewe war piece: READ MORE →
Students learn African Drumming from Baltimore County music teacher Diane Schaming, who studied music and dance in Ghana, West Africa, this past summer through ThisWorldMusic and UMass Amherst.
From today’s Baltimore Sun:
With 600 students, including a significant percentage of immigrants, music teacher Diane Schaming wanted to try something new to interest the children in the music of different cultures. So last summer she went to Africa and brought back music to Baltimore County’s Shady Spring Elementary School that now vibrates through every molecule of her classroom trailer.
Hard to believe fall is already upon us. With winter close behind, I’m looking forward to warming up in Ghana this January!
Our latest trip offering, the Winter Drum and Dance Field Study in Ghana, West Africa (January 2-14, 2012), is the perfect way to learn West African music and dance while getting to see the world. Check out the video below, then go to the online application on the UMass International Programs Office website. There’s also more info here.
3. Arranging for Performance
Although it can require intensive preparation to play even the basic ostinato parts in many polyphonic, polyrhythmic styles of drum ensemble music, holding a Western audience’s attention with highly repetitive music, no matter how beautiful or complex, frequently presents a challenge. READ MORE →
Just a last minute reminder that I’ll be presenting tomorrow, Friday March 25, at the Massachusetts Music Educators Association (MMEA) 2011 All-State Conference. If you’re at the Seaport Hotel/World Trade Center in Boston and get the sudden urge to hit things with sticks (okay, there’s a little more to it than that), swing by the Cambridge Complex room at 3:50. The session title is “Developing an African Drumming Program for Your Classroom” and we’re expecting a packed house.
Big thanks to Rhoda Bernard of Boston Conservatory and the rest of the folks at the Urban Music Education Coalition for including me in their amazing strand of offerings.
Happy New Year! Enrollment has started for the Adult/Continuing Education African Drumming course at New England Conservatory in Boston. Open to all adults, this is an introduction to the dance-drumming and vocal music of the Ewe people of Ghana in which students learn to perform this indigenous music in an ensemble setting. In addition, the course will give teachers the tools they need, both musical and practical, to bring African drumming into their classrooms.
Just got some really nice pics back from the University School of Milwauke (USM) residency I did at the beginning of the school year. This project was in collaboration with the USM Music Department and Miriam Altman, the Middle School Choral Director there and a student of mine on the 2010 ThisWorldMusic/UMass Summer in Ghana. The residency — which combined student clinics with staff/faculty professional development workshops and assembly presentations — is part of a larger project with USM which includes a service learning trip to Ghana next summer for ten of its teachers.