The Magic of African Rhythm (TMOAR) visited Silk Hope for a 3-day Artists-in-Schools residency jam-packed with African dancing, storytelling, drumming, music-making, and the ancient art of Adinkra printing. Members of the Shabu family led workshops for fourth and fifth graders, and even performed for students and faculty.
Students got up close and personal with African drums, including what they are made of. Not only did Teli Shabu bring several different drums, he also brought different skins used to make them so students get could a real feel for them.
While the fourth graders got to know the ins and outs of drumming, fifth graders got a taste of African dancing with Aya Shabu. Groups of students worked together to learn some pretty awesome dance steps.
Then groups swapped places, with fifth graders drumming and fourth graders cutting a rug. And all that was just the first day! On the second day of the residency, both grades came together in the gym, along with some faculty and kindergarten students, for a fun and exciting performance by The Magic of African Rhythm.
On the last day of the residency, grades were split again so students could experience more African art forms – Adinkra block printing and musical composition based on storytelling.
Teli Shabu led fourth graders in the ancient art of Adinkra printing. Kids learned all about the many different symbols and the history of the ancient form of communication from West Africa. Then fun began!
Next door, fifth graders used a completely different medium to create art – trash! Students were asked to bring in some recycled items made of paper, plastic, glass, metal, or wood, but the “why” was a surprise.
Aya read an African story to the class, and then she let them know they would use their recycled items to make instruments. They sorted their items into the five categories, and got together into groups. Each group was asked to create a “score” for the story using their items to make music. Easy enough? There was one catch: they couldn’t strike the items to make sound.
Kids worked together to figure out how to get sound out of their “instruments” without hitting them in any way. Students collaborated and high-fived as they figured out new ways to make music using nothing but chunks of firewood, metal soup cans, bottles, plastic bags, and even saltine boxes. Each group performed their score to cheers and applause from their classmates!
Of course, with the ring of the bell, fourth and fifth graders traded places, and the fun began all over again!
This residency was powered by Women of Fearrington and an anonymous donor.
Arts for Resilient Kids programming is made possible by partnerships with Chatham County Schools, Chatham County, the North CarolinaArts Council, and many individual, foundation, business donors.