This workshop is intended for children of primary school age.
For the post-primary / youth project version, please click HERE.
Suitable for 3rd-6th class primary students as well as post-primary students, Sounds African is a dynamic workshop that explores the drums and rhythms of West Africa. Participants will enjoy a demonstration of traditional African drumming on djembe, dununba and kenkeni (goatskin, cowhide and carved wood drums of the Mandinka people). They will also be introduced to other drums from around the region such as boogaraboo, saoruba, sangban and ntama (talking drum).
In addition to their introduction to African rhythms and drumming techniques, participants will have the opportunity to try some Ghanaian line dancing and simple songs in the Yoruba language. They will learn through pictures, recordings and stories about the context in which certain rhythms and dances are performed. And they will learn to say and play a simple traditional rhythm as well as how to understand and respond to non-verbal calls and instructions given by the lead drum. Some will have the opportunity to play along with the facilitators, while the rest of the class sing the accompanying songs and dance the dances.
Sounds African is available on two levels. Aimed specifically at groups who have already participated in the first workshop, Sounds African 2 will pick up where Sounds African 1 left off, with a quick revision course. Participants will be introduced to more aspects of contemporary and traditional African culture, their knowledge and preconceptions about that continent will be challenged again and their singing, dancing and percussive skills pushed to new levels. At both levels, teachers/assistants, who are asked to participate, will also be provided with suggested activities, rhythm exercises and games for classroom use. In a single day, schools can avail of any combination of level 1 and level 2 workshops.
Teachers/supervisors, who are asked to participate, will also be provided with suggested follow-up activities for classroom use.
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Comments from Teachers
'A fun, high-energy, well-structured workshop that had the children humming African songs long after the workshop was over!''
– B. Spelman, St. Mary's Boys National School, Booterstown
'A wonderful, interactive, positive experience.... The children loved it. It is relevant to the new music curriculum.'
– E. De Brún, Kilmacanogue National School
'It was a great workshop. Every child played an instrument and danced. Very interactive and enjoyable!'
– S. Corr, Scoil Thomáis, Laurel Lodge, Castleknock
'Well organised... with more variety than I could hope to achieve in a lesson or a day or a week or a month!'
– O. Redmond, Our Lady of Victories Senior Girls School, Ballymun
Has your school or organisation taken this workshop? We would appreciate it if you could take a few moments to give us your feedback in a brief online questionnaire. Thank you.
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Workshop Options & Fees *
4 X 1-HOUR WORKSHOPS
- Overall length 4 ½ hours (with 30-minute break)
- Participants Up to 35 per workshop (140 in total)
- Fee €580 (additional fees apply to workshops outside the Dublin area)
- Discounted fee €527 (DEIS schools & registered charities)
- Approx. fee per student (35 per workshop) €4.14 | €3.76 (DEIS schools & charities)
3 X 1-HOUR WORKSHOPS
- Overall length 3 ½ hours (with 30-minute break)
- Participants Up to 35 per workshop (105 in total)
- Fee €480 (additional fees apply to workshops outside the Dublin area)
- Discounted fee €437 (DEIS schools & registered charities)
- Approx. fee per student (35 per workshop) €4.57 | €4.16 (DEIS schools & charities)
2 X 1-HOUR WORKSHOPS
- Overall length 2 hours
- Participants Up to 35 per workshop (70 in total)
- Fee €380 (additional fees apply to workshops outside the Dublin area)
- Discounted fee €347 (DEIS schools & registered charities)
- Approx. fee per student (35 per workshop) €5.43 | €4.96 (DEIS schools & charities)
* Because Sounds African workshops require a large amount of percussion equipment, the workshop fees include an additional €50 charge for equipment transport.
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- Day By arrangement (please contact us)
- Facilities needed Large classroom or hall, CD player, whiteboard/markers or blackboard/chalk
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Since graduating from UCD in 1991 (BA, psychology), Brian Fleming has given numerous percussion workshops to schools, community groups and universities, including UCD, UCC, TCD and Ballyfermot VEC – and he has been invited to give workshops and presentations in Cuba, the US and Singapore. In 1995, he formed the drumming and traditional music group De jimbe, specialising in Irish melodies and West African rhythms. He has visited Gambia and Senegal on four occasions, performing with De jimbe and local musicians. De jimbe have also played in Bangladesh, Cuba, Expo 2000 in Hanover, France, Japan, the US and Korea, where they performed at the opening Ceremony of the World Cup 2002. Brian features in the 2001 Guinness Book of World Records as the creator of the Millennium Drum, the world’s largest drum. He has recorded on over 20 CDs and appeared many times on RTÉ television, including the ‘Late Late Show’, ‘Jack L Live at the Point’ and on national television in the US, Korea, Cuba and Japan. He has worked in theatre with Macnas, Barabbas, Calypso, The Abbey, Dublin Theatre Festival, St. Patrick’s Festival, Els Commediants, The Ark, Monaghan Youth Theatre and Red Lemon Youth Theatre.
Solomon Ijigade learned his drumming and singing from relations and family friends when growing up in Nigeria. Since he moved to Ireland in 2000, he has been performing with the award-winning African musical group Adun Oyin. With them he has also given workshops and performances to schools, colleges and community groups around Dublin. In 2003, Solomon played St. Patrick in ‘Mixing It on the Mountain’ – a musical co-produced by Calypso and Tower of Babel – at the Samuel Beckett Centre. He also played a leading role in ‘The Gods Are Not to Blame’, an Arambe/Project co-production at the Project Theatre as part of the Dublin Fringe Festival. Solomon is a soloist with the Gardiner Street Gospel Choir, who played to a sell-out audience at Dublin’s Ambassador Theatre in 2003. He has performed on RTÉ radio on ‘Rattlebag’ and ‘Tonight with Vincent Browne’ as well as on RTÉ Television, on the ‘Late Late Show’, ‘Mono’ and ‘Would You Believe?’. Solomon also teaches African Music & Dance in our In-School Music Programme.
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Booking & Enquiries
If you are interested in this workshop, please download and complete an Outreach Programme Booking & Enquiry Form (pdf format) and we will get in touch.
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