Monthly Archives: November 2011
It’s nearly a month since Drumroots Live, held at Manchester’s fine venue: The Platt Chapel. This charity event held was to raise money and give all proceeds to Médecins Sans Frontières MSF (Doctors Without Borders) for their work in helping bring aid to people affected in the current East-African crisis. For those who didn’t know or missed this event, a short recap:
As you no doubt know there has been and is a huge amount of difficulty and problems in East Africa. These problems are not only the cause of on-going conflict and mismanagement, but the addition of one of the worst droughts in the countries history. Though the relatively recent rains may have eased the drought at least, the problems continue and the on-going, compassionate work of groups and organisations bringing much needed aid to the affected areas are essential. (more…)
The Royal Northern College of Music provides musical training for its students not just in classical music and with students selected main instrument, but will bring in the additional alternative musical styles and providers to give the students an opportunity to learn music from very different traditions and learn in a very different way than they may be used to. Having run several courses for the RNCM students in the past, we were in very familiar territory but on this occasion this workshop was just a one off, with an hour to give those attending an introduction to West African drumming. (more…)
Jamie Riley and I were lucky enough to spend a day with the children who attend Pictor School. This is a school that caters for children aged 2 – 11 with special educational needs arising from a range of conditions and a large number of the pupils have an autistic spectrum disorder. We began the day with a short performance for the whole school of some hundred or so pupils, after which were split into four groups who we worked with over the rest of the day. We saw the older children in the morning and the younger in the afternoon. (more…)
This was a one off workshop for young people aged 25 and under who attend MOSAIC, a centre who’s aim it is to provide drug and alcohol treatment as well as support for those young people whose parents misuse substances. The small group who attend MOSAIC voluntarily were very interested and attentive to the extent that when our time was up they didn’t want to stop and having played a little longer and giving them a chance to fit in some ‘free style’ soloing, we stayed to chat more about the West African music and culture. Some of the students seemed particularly interested in the dance which accompanies the drumming in a traditional village or on stage for performance; here are a couple of African Dance videos for any of you guys who might be interested. (more…)
Last night we were invited to run a one off workshop with Special Virtuosi; a music group which was set up in December 2006 to provide music provision to people with special needs. The group of some twenty or so participants were very welcoming and excited to get into some drumming as we met at Royal Northern College of Music, a place we’ve worked many times before and where we’re always happy to return to.
The students, being of a broad age range and their individual special needs so mixed, we felt that our job was of course to run a drumming workshop for all to enjoy, and as ever to interact through music, however, here we focused particularly on building a good energy in the room so as to be inclusive of everybody, regardles of ability, and so that eveyone could get in to, feel and experience the music. (more…)