"Thank you so much for the past six weeks. The children have absolutely loved it and learned so much about focus, listening, working together, following instructions, taking turn, performance, rhythm, geography, memory skills, enjoyment, leading a group, co-ordination, concentration, discipline, confidence, appreciation and drumming!
Chris Thompson. Coombe Hill Infant School, New Malden
I’ve watched Sean work in two junior schools as part of my work as a music coordinator during the last two years. I was expecting the children to enjoy having weekly class music lessons transformed into drumming workshops; show me a child who doesn’t enjoy hitting a drum! What I hadn’t anticipated was the lasting impact that these sessions have had in the children’s subsequent work. Long after Sean had completed his contract, the value of his work has remained. The childrens deeper understanding of structure. texture, timbre, dynamic range, awareness of pulse and rhythm has had lasting impact on the quality of music making in both schools.
After a great time developing complex rhythmic layering through body percussion, we were introduced to the wonder of sound shapes or maybe a demonstration from one of a range of traditional drums. The Senegalese Talking Drum, made to communicate exquisitely, was a particular favourite with us all!
Traditional African Drumming Techniques were explored largely on drums from West Africa, using call and response material based on different word patterns drawn from dialects of the region. Lots of different textures were created by polyrhythmic layering and timbre changes explored using different percussion instruments.
Above all we had lots of fun! Sean inspired some amazing performances often all the more remarkable because he enabled the children to lead the performances independently, taking it in turn to direct different prepared or improvised sections.
The whole school community just wanted to have a go ....
One parent summed it up after watching an impromptu workshop led by Sean by saying, “I feel so inspired and just didn’t realise I had been missing out on so much. Hands on drumming workshops should be an essential part of all our lives!”
Thank you Sean, for leaving such a lasting legacy in our schools.
Alison Renvoize Music Coordinator for Latchmere School and St Paul’s C of E Junior School, Kingston