S2 African drumming and dance workshop
Clement Cheung S2
Do you speak Djembe?
S2 students have learnt about African music as part of their Music curriculum. In line with that, the S2 Music teachers have organized an African drumming and dance workshop for the last music lesson of the academic year in the last week of May.
Two instructors from Africa have been invited to conduct this workshop. Djembes were provided for every student. Students were able to try the three types of strikes on an actual djembe – something they learnt previously in class but were unable to put into practice. Under the guidance of the instructors, students played increasingly complex and fast rhythms on the djembe. Various musical concepts taught as part of features of African music, such as polyrhythm, syncopation, and call-and-response, were used throughout the drumming session.
After the drumming segment, students participated in the African dancing segment. Many students described the dancing session as engaging and enjoyable, especially with the instructor. To provide more context and insight to the dance, the history and culture of Africa was also shared. After learning the full choreography, classes were split into teams for a dance battle.
The instructors have concluded the African drumming and dancing workshop with two overarching concepts- music can transcend boundaries and different cultures is always an eye-opening experience that can be mutually shared by all. Students, including myself, have felt that this workshop was a fun and fantastic embodiment of those concepts, and it was definitely a great way to end the Lower Secondary music curriculum.