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On arrival before unloading all of the instruments at Mt St Patrick College in Murwillumbah, I was greeted by a lovely man who was delivering gas to the school. He had parked in front of me and when I offered to move the van so he could get out, he said “No, that’s fine, Ill help you unload the drums first!” He said he loved the school and all of his kids went there. Wow!! I accepted gratefully. A beautiful example of community right from the start at this college. I knew the teachers and students were going to be a joy to teach already!

We were set up at the big hall which they used for performances as well as other things. It was a nice large space, which always makes for a smoother ride with large amounts of children or back to back workshops, where groups are entering and exiting at the same time.

The group were doing a unit on African music as part of the music curriculum and the music teacher, Caitlyn had asked Rhythm Culture to provide the school with a drumming incursion that would share some African rhythms to help them expand their knowledge and give insight into African culture and instruments. Currently they had been studying beat, rhythm, accents, ostimatos, polyrhythms, call & response.

So, to highlight the diversity of African music and culture, we brought in lots and lots of different instruments and discussed the djembe, balafon, Ngoni, Kora and other percussion instruments. We discussed how they were made and explored the different sounds each instrument made and where in Africa it came from. They were all very surprised when we told them that we made all of the djembes ourselves!!

We had a wonderful time with this college group and appreciated their curiosity on West African music as part of their 2019 music curriculum. We look forward to seeing them all again very soon!!

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