music workshops -> Africa  


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Explore the music of Africa with a
DeeP Music African Workshop

Songs, Rhythms, Chants, Games, Stories

Programmes available from KS1 (Reception) to KS4 and beyond


The continent of Africa is home to a vast and almost infinitely rich treasure store of music, story and dance. A DeeP Music African Workshop will introduce your pupils to some of these riches and open a new world of sound to them. Whilst not rooted in African culture, Derek has worked many times with African musicians over the past 15 years. During this time he has developed ways of sharing an extensive repertoire with pupils in British schools based on educationally sound principles. His workshops are enjoyable and challenging as the pupils are expected to sing in African languages and play African percussion. Although these workshops are a general introduction to "African" culture, the bulk of the repertoire comes from West Africa (particularly Ghana) and Zimbabwe.

Because all teachers have an eye on covering the curriculum, all sessions recognise the importance of developing skills and knowledge in singing and playing as well as in listening and appraising.

In reception the children learn simple songs with movement and explore the sounds of the drums through listening and copying and through creating instant soundscapes and accompaniments to simple stories. Older pupils in key stage one sing and play simple rhythms on drums and are introduced to other African percussion.

In key stage two pupils are introduced to increasingly challenging repertoire, in African languages, and arrangements of traditional rhythms, leading to singing and playing in parts on drums and other percussion by Y6.

In key stage three and beyond, increasing attention is paid to good intonation on the drums and accuracy in playing more complex rhythms in parts. The rhythms at this stage tend to be ordered into structured pieces and pupils will be required to respond to cues and signals to develop musical ideas.

At all stages pupils may be given the opportunity to listen to recorded examples of traditional and contemporary African music and encouraged to comment on what they hear. This would include becoming increasingly aware of similarities and differences between African music and more familiar European styles.

DeeP Music African Music workshops are suitable for up to one class of pupils at a time and usually last between 45 minutes and 1 hour, depending on the age and experience of the pupils. Instruments are provided, although in some classes pupils may have to share.


Price (exclusive of travel):

£300 per day

Book a DeeP Music African Workshop

(Although Derek usually works on his own, sometimes teachers prefer to have an authentic African voice. This can be arranged when such projects are usually undertaken with an artist / storyteller from Nigeria. Phone or write for details and costs.)