African Drumming at Kendall Whittier Elementary School

Community Program

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In partnership with Tulsa Public Schools, The bART Center for Music is entering it’s 20th year offering African Drumming two times weekly after school at Kendall Whittier Elementary School. Led by bART teaching artist Leslie Brown, each participant engages with percussion instruments (djembes or djun-djuns) and works toward public performances that occur during the middle and end of the program. Rhythms are drawn from the drumming cultures of Africa and South America, with percussion techniques utilized including hand techniques from West Africa,The National Republic of the Congo and South America. Resource material is drawn from the oral tradition and also taught authentically using that tradition. Every class time includes a beat, a variety of rhythms, polyrhythms, terminology such as pitch, dynamics, tone color, and tempo.

In addition to mastering ethnic percussion instruments, the students will learn multicultural songs, improvisational skills, elements of rhythm, and harmonious group presence. They develop an understanding of the common elements and organizational patterns of music, such as rhythm, texture, and form. By mastering world percussion, participants gain exposure to music and rhythms of other cultures, increasing their understanding and empathy of other cultures.

This program is offered at no cost to the school, the children or their families through the financial support of The Oklahoma Arts Council, The Sharna and Irvin Frank Foundation, and The Joseph L. Hull Jr. Family Foundation.