World Music Day 2016

Calypso Music with Alex

World Music day was great fun, and consisted of three activities. One of my favourites was signing tropical Calypso style music, from Trinidad. Music from the Caribbean is associated with carnivals, festival and celebration. It is light hearted, fun and cheerful, with witty lyrics.  The style Calypso uses acoustic or bass guitar and sometimes some soft percussion.

We created our own calypso with the theme of a famous person with multiple flaws. Some ideas were Nigel Farage and Kim Kardashian. We had a main chorus which we created as a group and sang after every verse. We sang a verse in groups of 5 with our own satirical lyrics. We had a simple harmony using a rhythm of two long beats, followed by a short beat. 

Meanwhile, our mentor Alex was playing his acoustic guitar.  Our finished result was great and we all had tremendous fun performing it to the rest of year 7. Alex was very impressed with our musical skills and we thank him for teaching us a new culture of music.

Gumboot dancing with Lucky

Firstly, we started off by watching Lucky perform a routine of Gumboot dancing where he demonstrated the dance moves used in Gumboot dancing as well as the sounds created. Once he had finished, he then taught us a routine with the storyline being that we were moving house to go to South Africa to work in the mines. Next, once we had learnt the routine, we performed it and Lucky was very impressed! We then had a dance break where we all did some Gumboot dancing of our own and we then asked Lucky some questions about the culture in Africa.

African Drumming
For our second activity we took part in African drumming. We came into the Drama Studio where there was an abundance of drums in different shapes and sizes.
We were all very keen and sat down. However Uncle George, the workshop leader said first we needed to warm our voices. We did some African chanting and dancing led by Uncle George. African children would often chant songs like these on their way to school or when washing clothes in the stream. Next we sat down at our drums and we were taught some typical drumming patterns combining the use of only the tips of our finger and our whole palms. These were addressed with numbers. For example one pattern was 12123 and 113. We drummed along to various tunes: some African and some typical English songs. At the end we exchanged questions. We asked George about life in Africa and he asked us about some English customs. Overall this workshop was very fun on the drumming side and also very insightful into the African lifestyle. We would like to thank George very much for coming in and showing us all he had to share.

By Alicia, Emma and Eloise