African Drumming for improvers
Start date: 17th Jun 2020
Time: 19:15 - 21:15
Duration: 5 weeks
Tutor: Alison Lyon
Course code: 20SU099
This term, Alison has devised a special course that can be enjoyed on-line, as we are not able to meet in person. This term’s virtual drum group is for anyone who has played African drums before and wants to continue to enjoy the funky rhythms and have fun making music with other people.
For the first session students will need:
You don’t need to own a drum of your own. If you don’t have one, you can still access this term’s learning, because it’ll be fine to drum on any hard surface such as a table top or an up-turned bucket!
You will need to have a device that can connect to the internet and has a camera and a microphone – so that’s your android smartphone, or your tablet. Your laptop or PC can do it too.
You will need to download Skype to your device. It’s free.
You will need to download some software to your device, called Percussion Studio. It’s easy to use and you can
download it from this trusted website: http://www.moosware.net/PercussionStudio/ Additional Costs;
A free version of Percussion Studio is available, but as you want to be able to save the play-along files Alison sends you, you will need the paid-for version. It costs 25 US dollars, which is £20.38 at today’s rate (don’t worry, the download website will automatically convert your payment for you!)
The course will cover:
Each week, our lessons will be in three sections:
Each week, we will have a group video and audio call, using Skype (Alison will call you at the start of the session. Just answer the phone, and we’re off!) In this lesson, Alison will introduce a new rhythm, and demonstrate part by part (you can play along at home, if you turn your mic off). Turn your mic on to ask questions, chat with other class members, make a joke, etc.
Each week, this group session will be followed, at a time of your choosing, by a personal video call with Alison, on Skype again (or if you prefer Whatsapp, that’s fine too). In this one to one session she will remind you of the rhythm, watch and listen to you play, and give you any help you may need with tricky parts or mistakes. You can also play one part while Alison plays one of the accompanying rhythms.
3. Each week, Alison will send you a percussion studio audio file containing ALL of the different rhythm patterns in this piece of music. Play it back to hear the whole piece. Mute one track, so you can be the drummer on that part, while your virtual ensemble provides your backing. You can also adjust the speed, so whether you want to play at full-on African speed, or slow things down to a gentler pace for practice, it’s up to you!
In Percussion Studio, as well as the audio, you get a visual representation of the music that is similar in some ways to the box notation system we’ve used before on Alison’s rhythm sheets. Alison will also send you a printable sheet, with the piece written out in the more familiar box notation system.
By the end of the course students should be able to:
Play some new rhythms confidently as part of a multi-part rhythm ensemble, and have fun doing it.
Relax a little bit, despite the crazy times we’re witnessing, bust the stress, discover the meditational aspects of drumming and find a calm mental space in which to enjoy the good things in life, which include music, friendship and, hopefully, some laughs.