Students study African drums

Published 10:57 pm Saturday, September 15, 2012

Music teacher Luke Mayberry works with students from Tricia Stowe’s homeroom on percussion rhythms. (BCS photo)

In Luke Mayberry’s general-music class at Chocowinity Middle School, the fifth-grade students studied African percussion and participated in their first drum circle.
The focus of the lesson was to learn about the parts of the drum, the reasons for percussion music and to experiment with different sounds using drums, rhythm sticks and body percussion. African percussion music is used for a variety of reasons, including celebrations, religious ceremonies, to connect with nature, communication and to make time pass. A lot of music is performed as work songs to make the day go faster and has time signals that tell the workers when to stop work. The students learned some rhythms in a call-and-respond pattern typical of African drumming. Students then experimented with sounds used to connect with nature and imitate a thunderstorm.