Last weekend I attended a 3 day Roots of Rhythm workshop by Dr. Craig Woodson. If you ever hear of one in your area, I would highly recommend taking advantage!
Roots of Rhythm is a curriculum that was developed through collaboration between the Percussion Marketing Council and the International House of Blues Foundation. The curriculum combines music with history, social studies, geography and language arts designed to support classroom teachers in integrating music and music making activities in the classroom.
The benefits are great when participating in the Roots of Rhythm program. Teacher and students learn about rhythms, drums and percussion instruments from around the world within their respective cultural and historical contexts. Students learn and increase their understanding about different countries and cultures, gain awareness how music reflects life conditions and experiences, learn to play and create different percussive instruments, developing listening skills and music appreciation and most of all have FUN!
Below you can view a picture slide show of some of the instruments that we made during this workshop. At the end of the slide show I took a picture of all my instruments. I made a Buhai friction drum, Bongos, Lakota drum, Dondo, Ranat Ek (xylophone), Sajat, Adufe drum, Djembe, Naqqara, Snare drum, mini gong, cowbell and I’m sure I’m missing something! It was fantastic!
At the beginning of each class and often after we made a new instrument we would simply drum. Also known as a drum circle, improvising with different instruments as a group. This was one of my favorite things to do. It really set the tone for the day and created excitement to experiment with my new instrument. This made me think, as a piano teacher how can I implement this in my studio? My goal this next year is to begin and end the lesson with some kind of improvisation whether it’s on a percussion instrument or the piano. To simply make music and enjoy the sounds that are created.
Here are a couple of links to video’s that I filmed of our “drum circles”.
This one is a short clip with Dr. Woodson. You will see how he got a little creative with us when we were drumming. I didn’t film the entire thing because I wanted to participate! Click here to view.
This was with Frank Thompson of AZ Rhythm Connections. Click here to view.
A friend/piano teacher colleague of mine participated in this workshop with me. A few things that we realized is how easily drumming can be implemented in the piano lessons. For example, instead of simply drumming a rhythm in some music, why not add articulation and dynamics in the drumming as well? Maybe by physically doing these things on the drum will allow the student to understand what we are wanting to hear on the piano. We both noticed some really big benefits to introduce drumming into the lessons.
I am planning on doing the Roots of Rhythm program for my students as a workshop option this summer! I am so excited! I am planning on having the students make the Adufe drum (the square drum you see in the picture) and am still narrowing it down to one more that we will make. Now the good news for all of you. Even though you may have not attended a workshop, you can still share this experience with your students. Just go to: http://www.rootsofrhythm.net/ and you can download the curriculum for free! This includes worksheets for the students! While you are there, be sure to check out workshop information. If they come to your area be sure to sign up!