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Drum Lessons @ GES

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Students at the James A. Garfield Elementary School were treated to a fascinating program featuring  Brother Olugbala Manns, teacher of African drumming at Hiram College and Kent State University.  He taught the assembled crowd the expression “On the One” (ready, set to go, focused) and got their attention—not always an easy task—by calling out “Ah-go” and requiring the response, “Ah-may”, which got everyone in synch so that the program could go on.  He told of his group “Heartbeat of Afrika” and showed the drums which he had brought with him—the Papa drum, the Mama drum and the Baby drum and explained about the 3 tones(strike, tone, slap)—djembe—used in the very rhythmic music.  He also got volunteers to come up to play on still more of the handmade drums and participate in music-making, using the phrase “I like to be good” to establish the pattern…and everybody was good, that is. There was a music test, there was a little dancing, there was interest; it was a good time. Leaving the students with the mantra, “Peace, Love, Respect for Everyone” and signing autographs and answering question from the group, he signed off and left with the audience still wanting more, the sign of a  fine, informative performance.