I recently started sharing the little I know about playing Djembe with youth’s ages 8 to 11. It is challenging to hold their attention but so rewarding when I see the youngsters 'get it'. I am motivated to share with the youth because to me the future of maintaining the integrity of the traditional West African rhythms is in found in the hearts, minds and spirits of youth inclined to view West African rhythms as important. Trouble is even for the ones that demonstrate a strong connection with the rhythm they must divide their attention with the computers, cell phones and I-pods. I am introducing this topic because I would like to hear stories of teachers of the rhythms, to especially the youth. What are your experiences your triumphs and techniques used to effectively reach the youth?
Last edited by PeacefulWarrior on Sat Apr 17, 2010 6:15 am, edited 2 times in total.
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yo, good subject there pw. my advice is just show them the joy when you play and support them so they feel joy when they play, and they'll be hooked. you're right about kids having all kinds of other competing interests, but if it's fun they'll do it. keep it fresh, too! good luck!
Last edited by bubudi on Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
I am an Active After School Care community coach here in Australia. One of the programs I offer is African drumming. I drum with kids from Kindergarden to year 7.
With the young ones P-2, we can usually drum happily for 20-30 minutes. My sessions with the littlees involves drumming and singing to nursery rhymes or any song that they know. We enjoy play/repeat activities, rumble games, musical chairs and dance game-spin the bottle.
Year3-5 is very similar to the P-2 group but they are very creative at this age and we enjoy making up their own songs with drumming. Take their input and run with it. time wise is also 20-30minutes.
Along with the other activities, Year 6-7 is the age which I start to introduce the idea of African rhythms being polyrhythmic and introduce various rhythms. An additional activity I have found they enjoy is what we call 'circle solos'. we play any rhythm for 4 counts at which points everyone stops and people have a solo for 4 counts. They enjoy the attention and creative outlet.
Just a little overview of my programs. I hope you find something helpful. I am also always looking for other ideas. I agree with bubudi's opinion in sharing your joy and enthusiasm.
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