Posts Tagged music education

African Drumming at Moravian College

Moravian College campus

Developing an African Drumming Program for Your Music Classroom
with Jeremy Cohen, Founder & Director of ThisWorldMusic

Date: Saturday, January 31, 2015
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Learn how to bring the joy and power of African drumming into your music classroom! This workshop explores precision drum, bell and rattle technique; recitation of onomatopoeic drum “vocables;” and the singing of traditional West African songs.

The various rhythms introduced range in difficulty, allowing you to differentiate instruction for your students. Classroom management issues and how to recruit, equip and schedule African drumming classes and ensembles in a K-12 setting are also discussed.

Open to Moravian students and Lehigh Valley K-12 teachers. For more info, email Dr. Joy Hirokawa: hirokawaj@moravian.edu

Teaching Music in Urban Schools: One Educator’s Journey (Part II)

Today on the blog we are pleased to feature the second in a two-part guest post from Elizabeth Green, a music educator in New York City and participant on the summer 2012 ThisWorldMusic Study in Ghana program.

“You’re so lucky you teach music! The kids love music!”

So said a colleague one day as he dropped some students off for my Music Therapy class.

Me? Lucky? I’m lucky I remembered my turkey sandwich for lunch! Wait…they truly love music? Probably. Did they love my Music Class? Probably not.

I certainly make an effort to get them to love my class. I’m energetic. I make them laugh. I feel I can relate well to strugglers as well as smarty-pants in the classroom. Most of all, I love music and I love working with kids. READ MORE

Sounds of the Rainforest: Arts-Integrated Music Education

Sounds of the 4 layers of rainforestJust wrapped up a weeklong artist residency for Young Audiences at Lincoln Elementary School in Melrose, Mass., titled “Sounds of the Rainforest.” It was a great week, though these kids were so knowledgeable about the rainforest that at times it felt like they were teaching me!

For example, did you know that howler monkeys are the loudest animals on the planet aside from blue whales? Or that only 2% of the sunlight that shines on the rainforest makes it all the way down to the forest floor?

To learn more, and to get ideas for an interdisciplinary, arts-integrated rainforest unit of your own, take a look below at the detailed program notes that we put together for our final assembly “informance.” READ MORE

Teaching Music in Urban Schools: One Educator’s Journey

Today on the ThisWorldMusic blog we are pleased to feature the first in a two-part guest post from Elizabeth Green, a music educator in New York City and participant on the summer 2012 ThisWorldMusic Study in Ghana program.

Picture it. 2 p.m, 6th grade band rehearsal, a small northeastern U.S. town. I am lost in enjoyment among the other young instrumentalists as we all try to out-play the oboe section, which is wowing everyone with their delicate rendition of “All-Play! #56.”

This was the time of day to which I looked forward the most. I was convinced that instrumental music was my future, and I excitedly mapped out the rest of my career daily during my next period class. What a wonderful career it would be! I would become a beloved band teacher, with multiple ensembles filled with a diverse bunch of eager students. They would choose to come before school for marching band practice every day and stay late to practice their instruments. I would have my own office that would hold multiple awards given for superior performances by my ensembles at world-renowned music festivals. READ MORE

From Africa to Chicago: A Children’s Game Teaches Music

Children's rock passing game Africa

Educators learning a traditional children’s rock passing game in the village of Kopeyia, Ghana.

“Holo holo holo holo, gbe sia, bne nono…” The voices of my second grade general music students sing in Ewe as the students hold the garden rocks, tracing circles on the floor. “Ala, sariki babu. Ala sariki babu.” Each student excitedly picks up his or her rock and, moving to the beat, passes the rock to the student to his or her right as they sing the phrase “Ala sariki babu” over and over. While students eagerly wait for the student next to them to pass the rock, one student inevitably ends up with multiple rocks, laughter ensues and the game starts again! This is a learning opportunity to practice singing skills, reinforce steady beat, learn about tempo, and introduce music of world cultures. READ MORE

ZUMIX African Drumming Ensemble Rocks Fenway Park

ZUMIX African Drumming Ensemble performs at Fenway Park

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

New NORC/University of Chicago Report Focuses on Role of Teaching Artists in Education

This past week, the National Opinion Research Council (NORC) at the University of Chicago published a 3-year study titled “Teaching Artists and the Future of Education.” Being a teaching artist (TA) myself, I was interviewed for the study here in Cambridge by a NORC field researcher. And although I am obviously a fierce advocate for arts in education, I was quoted in a section of the report titled “Some Skeptics.” Take a look: READ MORE

Arranging African Drumming and Singing

Students on the ThisWorldMusic/UMass Ghana study abroad program learning traditional Ewe songs.

The following is adapted from “Developing an African Drumming Program for Your Music Classroom,” created by ThisWorldMusic in partnership with The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

This is the second in a series of three installments on arranging for an African drumming ensemble: 1) Arranging for Classroom vs. Stage; 2) Arranging Drumming with Singing and; 3) Arranging for Performance.

2. Arranging Drumming with Singing
One of the biggest challenges in arranging drumming with singing is the tendency for the drum ensemble to drown out the singers, especially the lead, or “call,” which is typically sung by an individual or small subgroup. READ MORE

Arranging African Drumming for Classroom and Stage

The following is adapted from “Developing an African Drumming Program for Your Music Classroom,” created by ThisWorldMusic in partnership with The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

This is the first in a series of three installments on arranging for an African drumming ensemble: 1) Arranging for Classroom vs. Stage; 2) Arranging Drumming with Singing and; 3) Arranging for Performance.

1. Arranging for Classroom vs. Stage
For teaching polyphonic drum ensemble music in a classroom setting, a “mixed chorus” type of instrument distribution scheme is ideal. READ MORE

African Drumming Residency at University School of Milwaukee

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.

Here’s a photo recap of the residency: READ MORE

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