Friday, 13 October 2017

African Drumming, Song and Dance

Key Stage 2 and in particular Kingfisher Class, had a most enjoyable day of learning to bring (almost) to an end, their topic on Kenya.

We welcomed Millie, who had come all the way from Zimbabwe (via Birmingham) to be with us at Gresham Village School.  She brought along a car full of drums aloing with other instruments from Africa - which Millie played for us and which we tried to play!

We began in the morning by finding out about the different countries in Africa (of which there are 57) and some of the 1100 languages that are spoken on the continent.  Millie told us that English was her 15th language and she amazed us with her pronunciation of different work in the Swahilli language.

We found out about some of the famous people who had come from the African continent and talked about some of those that we know today.  Millie spoke about how, inside, all people were the same, whatever the colour of their skin or how many legs and arms they may have.  We agreed with her that it was the variety of people and cultures in the world that made the world such an interesting and wonderful place.

We were particularly excited to get our hands on the drums that Millie had brought in for us.  There were more that 33 drums altogether and se we were able to have a drum each.  Millie showed us how to get different sounds from the drums and we all had a go as she copied her rhythms.

After lunch Kingfisher Class made their way to the hall where the drums had been moved to.  This gave us room to spread out and begin to move to the beat of the drum.  She had learnt the song 'Jambo Bwana' in the morning and we began to add drum beats and additional words to the basic song.  We slowly built up a repetoire of music and dance that we were going to perform to the rest of the school at the end of the day.

Mrs Hayman was, around this time, heading to school from the village and could hear our drumming performances from her house!  Everyone seemed to enjoy our concert, though probably not as much as we had enjoyed putting it together.

Thank you to Millie for coming to our school; we learnt so much from you and had such a fantastic time with you and your drums.  It was such a positive experience that we will remember it for a long time to come.

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