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Somerville Primary School - African Percussion Workshop for Children


As quoted


24 Oct 2023

About the Course

The African Percussion Workshop for Children is an exciting opportunity for kids to have a hands-on introduction to playing some historical musical instruments which date back to just before the 8th century. These instruments originate from the Yorùbá tribe in West Africa and produce sounds which you will never hear from modern instruments. During this workshop, children will learn how to handle and play the Talking Drums as well as creating a rhythm with the percussions. Above all, regardless of their backgrounds, these cultural historical musical instruments will foster togetherness and enable the participants to bond together.

A gallery of our various music workshops for children can be viewed here

Scope of the Workshop

The percussion instruments are easy to handle and simple to play. In addition to having a wholesome introduction to the instruments, four (4) cardinal areas of focus shall include:

  • Practical Understanding of Identifying and Establishing Rhythm

  • How to Create Rhythm 

  • Playing as part of a Group 

  • Having Fun and Enjoying Your Instrument

Life-Lessons for Participants

The various life skills, attributes and aspects of character development which the participants will benefit from include:

  • Respect

  • Team-Building

  • Confidence

Modus Operandi

The workshop is conducted in a group-coaching format. A group can have as many as 15 participants playing various percussion instruments. What happens when we have larger numbers? If you have a large number of participants, the workshop can be conducted in batches. Additionally, when you have a large number of children, it is likely that all may not want to play an instrument but may prefer to sing! This would be perfectly fine as it is customary for African percussionists to be accompanied by a vibrant singing group. Thus, those who do not play instruments but prefer to sing, can still be part of the group; in which case, the group can be as large as possible! In a fully engaging and hands-on fashion, the singers will learn how to sing simple and easy-to-learn folksongs from Africa. With rhythmic hand-clapping and choreography, the singers will form the vibrant melodic backdrop for the percussionists. It is a spectacle to behold!

Proposed Schedule/Grouping 

We are completely open to reviewing, modifying or completely restructuring this arrangement. Here is what we propose and we shall be grateful if we can get your input.

  • 9:00 am - 10:20 am  Ages 7 - 8

  • 10:30 am - 11:50 am Ages 9 - 10

  • 1:00 pm - 2:20 pm Age 11

  • 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm Grand Finale performance

The concluding Grand Finale can be in form of a mini-concert for parents, guardians and invited members of the community. Pupils selected from each batch will constitute the performing group on stage. Since other children have already participated in the coaching sessions, they can be in audience and be part of an uplifting singalong.

Your Instructor

Samuel Jonathan

Samuel Jonathan

The Lead Facilitator, Samuel Jonathan, is a descendant of Yorùbáland and has been playing African percussion instruments internationally since 1972. He is DBS certified and a "Big Kid" at heart! The children will find his signature style of coaching both inspiring and uplifting. The following link gives more details about his background:

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