MacGregor State High School runs an artistic co-curricular program and the creative arts department group have twelve year 11 and 12 students who are majoring in dance, drama and music. In the beginning of Term 2 this year we did a series of drumming workshops for a school drumming program at MacGregor State High School in Brisbane.

The School Drumming Program

We had 5 x 1.5 hour sessions with the goal of creating a performance piece for a student performance night that was occurring later on in the term. The students were all very keen learners and moved through the material fairly quickly.

The first three sessions were held in the Performing Arts Department and focused on the rhythms Yankadi and Macru. The last two sessions were held down in the music department because we needed the use of the instruments. By this stage we were putting the music together on the instruments that they would play for the performance. We found 3 djembes and a couple of sets of congas, some bells and shakers and some rotor toms that we used to play the rhythms on.

After learning how the rhythms fit together, we had to arrange the music. For this I handed the reins over to the students so that they could create the piece how they wanted. We had rhythms, the song, the breaks, some singing and a few different calls. There was lots of material for them to work with.

Getting Creative

This was the really fun part. Watching the students put these rhythms together with the singing and some of their own ideas. They also arranged how they were going to start and finish and they also found some other instruments in the music department that they wanted to use. So together, they created the piece of music and everyone had their own role and their own part that they had to play in it.

We really appreciated working with these students. Drumming programs are always so rewarding. Getting to know the children and giving them the opportunity to really integrate with the music and rhythms but allowing them to get creative. Fantastic program MacGregor State High School! Thanks for having us!

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