The energetic Infinite Roots Drum Troupe visited Royle Elementary last week to demonstrate their instruments and drumming technique to the children.
Lead by the charismatic Kwame' Henry Jones, the troupe entered the school
common room singing and playing instruments. Jones went on to describe and
name the variety of West African drums on the stage, many of which he had
made himself. A few children were invited up to try their hand at drumming and demonstrate the different sounds.
The children were taught the names of the instruments, from the standing Senegalese Djembe drum to the small Zimbabwean Mbira or 'hand-piano'. They learned that a goat-skin drum should only be played by hand whereas the stronger cow-skin drums can be played with a stick.
A small 'village of drummers' was created as many of the children, and a few of their teachers, joined the troupe up on stage and Jones handed out instruments for them to play. Everyone learned a simple drum beat while
those children without instruments were taught an energetic dance routine,
which everyone performed with great enthusiasm and enjoyment.
When learning the dance routine, Jones explained that even though there may
not be enough instruments for all the children to play, everyone can join in with the joy of the community - by dancing, singing, clapping and
simply by being positive.
The troupe gifted two drums to the school as a symbol of sending the spirit of the day out into the community. Mr Squeo and Alex DeCastro, President of the Student Council, accepted the drums on the school's behalf.