Mixing Timbres: Shakers, Rattles and Bells (Oh My!)
My students need 3 pairs of maracas, 3 traditional seed rattles, 2 wood guiros, 1 traditional shekere, 2 single bells and 2 double gonkogwe bells to add varied percussion to our drum circles.
Hooray! This project is fully funded
Hooray! This project is fully funded
In the musical drum circle recipe, if drums are the meat and potatoes, then the real flavor arrives when you add the spice of textures, timbres and syncopated details of shakers, rattles and bells to the mix. My students groan when I spout cheesy metaphors, but once they hear the effects of adding these instruments to the power of drums, they'll agree!
In order to give my students the opportunity to experience and create their own music collectively, I am developing a world drumming program at our school. As is common everywhere, our school is poorly funded and in our urban school district, the arts are a low funding priority. My collection of percussion instruments is growing, but so far we don't have a wide variety of instruments with different timbres.
Many of our students arrive in high school having completed 8 years of worksheet-driven, rote learning in elementary school. They often don't see the connection between daily assignments and the end assessment. I struggle to promote the value of homework and a daily progression of learning that leads them to success in the final objective. This is a concept that they must experience and believe in to be successful at the collegiate level.
As our students prepare for post-secondary education, whether it be college or otherwise, I continue to deliver my mantra: "It's not always important WHAT you're learning, but you should never turn down the EXPERIENCE of learning. It makes your brain stronger, faster and more agile." When they ask "why do we have to learn this," I sometimes tell them that we're learning this now so that you can learn faster later. I've found that practicing a musical instrument is an exercise in the art of focus and an excellent metacognative exercise in which students think about HOW to learn more efficiently. And ultimately, that is the kind of experience I want to offer my college-bound students.
Daily, we discuss how this kind of focus and intensive rehearsal can help them in math or English class. In rehearsals, we recognize that planning ahead and preparing before we practice often yields better results. I even tell my students that this is the kind of thinking you have to do in college: strategic, intensive and reflective. We encourage our students to consider continuing their education after high school, but without practicing focus and dedication now, many risk losing momentum after graduation. Furthermore, this experience will help my student continue developing important personal and interpersonal skills such as confidence, self-control, respect, communication, empathy, and trust.
Donating toward this proposal will make it possible to purchase 3 Maracas, 3 traditional African seed rattles, 2 wooden guiros, 1 traditional African shekere, 2 single bells and 2 double gonkogwe bells to add varied percussion to our drum circles. My students in the fall will truly appreciate your donation and you can be sure that the instruments will be utilized for years to come.
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