Monday, 12 December 2011

Update (well overdue!)

Our sessions at Heartlands Hospital, Hutton Hall and Naseby Centre are still going on and are going great! Sarah manages to make everyone smile at her sessions on the ward, including different activities for all ages, and taking away a bit of the stress and upset of a hospital stay. She brings her collection of fun and unusual drums, and everybody gets the chance to learn some exciting African rhythms as well as making up their own rhythms, learning about call and response, singing some songs, and generally having fun making a lot of noise! It's really lovely to see the difference it makes in some of the poorly kids and their families.

I had a go at a session myself a couple of weeks ago when Sarah was ill. I took some Ghanaian instruments - drums, shakers and a xylophone - to the Children's Ward and had a lovely time with some of the patients and students from the James Brindley School. We learnt a bit about Ghanaian music and dancing, had a go on all the different instruments, and made up some of our own rhythms and tunes on the xylophone. I had a great time and would love to do it again. The guys from JBS were particularly helpful and friendly, and I always enjoy working with them.

The African drumming club at Hutton Hall has come along really well, with a core group of committed and enthusiastic young drummers. The boys are learning loads, and I am always impressed when I see what Sarah is up to there! They've also had a lot of fun coming up with a name for their group...which will be unveiled in time for their first performance next year. The boys at Hutton work really hard during the sessions and it's really nice to see how they are improving from week to week. They're all very talented and great at learning new things - and have many skills apart from music too! (Last week I was treated to an impromptu magic show!)

Naseby Centre attracts more people each week, it seems! Sarah is great at including new drummers and there's always a fun and informal atmosphere at the sessions. The sessions are at the end of a long day, but Sarah never seems to run out of energy! Some of the boys are getting on really well, really good at remembering patterns and information about the music. As well as having a good drumming session at Naseby each week, it's always a giggle...mainly because of Carlito - which he assures us is his real name :-)

I always look forward to my day of African drumming in Hodge Hill: the three sessions are always really different and always really interesting and fun. I'm learning a lot about effective music leading and teaching complicated African rhythms to beginners. I'm very grateful that Sarah lets me observe all these sessions - and join in too.

No comments:

Post a Comment