Expansive, Creative FUN with RHYTHMS of the Africa and the Diaspora
- Build rhythmic fluency and understanding of syncopation and orchestration
- Explore improvisation, arranging and composing with rhythm
- Experience the joy of multi-layered rhythm in a multi-tonal ensemble
- Musicians of all instruments who want to expand rhythmic understanding and explore improvisation
- Percussionists who want to deepen understanding of African and Latin orchestrations and experiment with creative applications.
- Djembe drummers who want a better understanding of traditional Malinke rhythms
- Songwriters and composers who are looking for new rhythm and orchestration ideas
- Vocalists who want to play percussion and improve vocal rhythm skills
- Dancers who want to deepen rhythmic dexterity.
Explore African rhythm orchestrations on any instrument–guitar, sax, cello, bass, piano, percussion, voice – whatever you make music with. Use it as a foundation to expand rhythmic fluency, build ensemble skills, improvise and create group arrangements. Experience the joy of multi-layered rhythm in ensemble.
Drawing on a rich reservoir of orchestrations from Africa (dundun/djembe) and the Diaspora (Cuba & Brazil), we will:
- Build rhythmic ease, fluency and understanding
- Expand rhythmic vocabulary
- Develop ensemble skills for holding your part and hearing the whole in a multi-layered rhythm mosaic
- Improvise, compose and create arrangements with rhythm
- Explore important “rhythmic cells” and connections from Africa to Latin America to the USA
- Have fun. Express yourself. Build community.
Low pressure, high pleasure! No music reading required; focus on oral traditions and music as language. Attendance at all the workshops in the series is suggested, but not required.
Yes, and this even includes vocalists and “body music” musicians.
We will learn patterns using percussion, voice, and movement and creatively apply them to your instrument, keeping the harmonic and melodic challenges and choices minimal to focus on the rhythm. Yes, there will be harmony. Yes, there will be melody, but the focus is rhythm.
With a part that matches your skill level, we create a multi-layered orchestration where the glorious whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Every musical “voice” is important and adds a unique contribution to the whole.
This class will not cover instrumental technique or traditional cultural study. It honors old rhythm roots to create something new. It is about expanding “rhythmic consciousness” with opportunities to apply it, expand it and create with it.
There will be small percussion instruments and drums available. If you need a drum to use as your main instrument, please contact Beverly.
How Can This Workshop Be For All Levels of Experience and Musical Expertise?
Africa and the Diaspora provide an incredibly rich body of rhythms with multi-level parts that vary in complexity even inside of the same orchestration. With respectful adaptations, there is a part for every skill level and a focus on success and safety as well as infinite challenge.
What About Kids?
This workshop is geared for adults. It should be fine for mature youth but not small children.
Comments From May 2011 Durham Workshops
“Your class was off the hook wonderful.”
” I loved learning intuitively and hearing the different parts layered together, using our bodies to keep rhythm, and LISTENING.”
” I was mesmerized by the group rhythms. You’re the best!”
If you are interested in learning more about upcoming workshops or in bringing Beverly to your community to do workshops, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. “Catch a Groove” can be tailored for a specific art form such as for percussionists, vocalists, dancers, etc.
About Teacher Renewal Credit
Most school systems will allow renewal arts credit. Contact Beverly for details.