Our last few sessions of drumming have involved the kids sharing their names on the drums, finding a way to articulate the rhythm of their name and then transferring it to the drum. I ask them to remember from week to week the particular arrangement of sounds that identify who they are, as composed by them. They are pretty good at remembering their own pattern, however when we share in a circle fashion, it can be tricky as it is easy for our brains to remember what the person before us has played and just copy that, without specifically remembering our own pattern.
This is one of the great life metaphors this kind of artistic work can offer: holding your own voice, and keeping your identity without being swayed by others around you. This is an important life skill, one which I discuss with the kids. Of course, they also must be listening to everyone in the circle and know where they fit in, so that is a wonderful learned skill as well. Our upcoming sessions will transfer those skills into a group composition….stay tuned for the topic!
We are also continuing to work on our traditional Ghanaian drumming piece Kpanlogo, and we recently learned a singing/clapping game from Ghana. The DRUMSPEAK kids have a large capacity for remembering patterns and many take leadership roles naturally. The wide age range (6-12) continues to work well. Looking forward to the next stage!