Pupils drum up enthusiasm for concert
Students at St Therese School may come from cultures all over the world.
But these days they are marching to the beat of the same drum.
Children from all year levels have been learning African drumming under the instruction of musician Richard Boateng.
Each class has been practising traditional chanting, dancing, singing and drumming and will show off their skills in a concert on July 3.
Student Naomi Chew-Lit, 12, says she never expected to learn African drumming but it has been a lot of fun.
“It’s energetic and really fun to work as a team and Richard is so helpful and intelligent and a great drummer,” she says.
“It has also helped us to be more open minded about another culture.”
The African drumming classes have been organised as part of the Education Ministry’s Artists in Schools programme.
Ghana-born Richard has studied traditional Ghanaian music and is an accomplished musician and teacher.
The children have been working with Richard since May on their drumming and dancing while undertaking a research project to learn more about the African culture.
Richard says drumming teaches children how to be part of a team.
“Building up rhythm in children makes them fit and brings them together,” he says.
“Everybody is connected and relies on each other in the performance.”
He says working together on the performance also helps them to overcome shyness and become more confident.
Teacher Leigh Ezernieks says the children have responded very well to the programme.
“The kids have really enjoyed it. They have gained confidence and are willing to participate and we are really surprised at how well they have picked it up,” she says.
“They have really risen to the occasion and love learning about the culture and finding similarities.”
The St Therese School African village performance will be held on July 3 from 7pm in the school hall.
For more information, phone the school on 6209441.
In sync: St Therese School students from left: Eirenei Nanai, Dominic Tauia, Xavier Fangupo and Tafadzwa Midzi work with Richard Boateng, centre, on African drums.