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Re: Drums from different cultures


From: Judith Decker (jdecker4art_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Sep 20 2004 - 10:55:41 PDT

Greetings Fran,

I have been contemplating how to respond.... Sara is
right. Many Native Americans do not want you making
their drums from coffee cans and stetched inner tube
rubber. Research - see if someone can come in and make
an authentic drum for your school - and have students
learn the rhthyms - and gain an appreciation for the
music. There are other authentic art ideas you could
do in art class (for Plains cultures - have students
create a journal of the process/experience on journal
paper and illustrate it - this would be an authentic
lesson). Many Native American cultures also do not
want you trying to copy their dances - See if you can
get a group to come in and demonstate.

While making drums is a good idea... I think if would
be even better to use the grant money to buy some
authentic drums from the cultures. Bring in some
musicians from your community/area who use those drums
(or are knowledgable) to teach the students the
different rhythms. You can get some authentic drums
(cheap) from Crizmac (check your catalog) and from Ten
Thousand Villages stores (some are on their site).
Drums kids make (unless you can find authentic
materials) will not duplicate the beautiful sounds the
authentic drums make. I have a beautiful slotted wood
drum from Cameroon... there is no way a kid could
duplicate that effectively (and get the lovely perfect
pitch sounds it makes).

If I were you- I would make udu drums with kids in
art. This is an authentic experience - made from clay.
I think some how tos can be found onine - but I could
walk you through some doable steps with kids.
I have links on my Africa Links page:

Ceramic rattles would be another authentic instrument
you could do with kids. You can try ceramic whistles,
too. I have neat ceramic whistles from Mexico and
Cameroon (plus a Mayan reproduction whistle/rattle
combo). Ceramic Whistle resources are on IAD, too.

I hope this helps shape your ideas....with out
"stepping on any toes" - Now is the time to educate
your principle. Have the science class make drums from
found objects and experiment with sounds that can be
made while YOU and MUSIC use the real thing.

Judy Decker

--- Fran Legman <> wrote:

> My principal would like me to write a grant so that
> I can collaborate with
> our new music teacher to create drums. Different
> grades would makes drums
> of different cultures. Does anyone have any
> resources on this?
> Fran in NJ


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