We recently taught Soboninkun in our class. As usual, we started out by demonstrating all the parts for djembe and dundun, and also putting them together in various combinations. When we got to the sangban, there was complete bewilderment:
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The off-beat bell and the almost completely off-beat sangban had everyone thoroughly confused. I don't believe that any of our students managed to perceive the beat correctly, especially coming into the rhythm from a binary call. The lesson was a bit of an uphill struggle that day…
The following week, we started out by doing some body percussion. Step the pulse with your feet, and start by clapping the two mutes. Keep that going for a while, then add the first open note on the chest. Keep that going for a while, and then add the final two open notes on the chest.
Within a few minutes, everyone got it, and the lesson went much better.
After this experience, I'm going to try and do this more often. It's a good way to get people to feel the dundun melody. (Most dundun patterns can be turned into body percussion.) It also gets people to move at the start of a lesson, get warm, and loosen up a bit.
Anyone else using body percussion in their teaching?