Multicultural Programs

The kora, a West African harp, is an ancestor of the guitar.

The kora, a West African harp, is an ancestor of the guitar.

 

Plucking the Kora

Plucking the Kora

 

Frame Drum Solo

Frame Drum Solo

Sing Me a Story, Dance Me a Song: A Musical Trip Around the World

cultural-music
This multicultural expressive arts program brings together songs, games and stories from around the world: Caribbean songs, chants from the Georgia Sea Islands, folktales from West Africa, Mexico and Japan. It can be adapted for preschoolers or five through eight year olds with equal success. From Camp Common Ground in northern Vermont, to Wooster School’s renowned Summer at Wooster creative arts program, to Town and Country Montessori School in Wilton, Connecticut, children ages three through eight have been absorbed and fascinated as they immerse themselves in the music, stories and dance of other parts of the world. Global awareness and cultural literacy begin here. An excerpt from a letter to parents: 

              I really enjoyed meeting some of you at the picnic on Sunday. Your children and I have had two full mornings of musical-cultural exploration centered on songs and games played by children in West Africa. We looked at where that is on the classroom globe, and traced our route across the Atlantic with a finger. Then we learned a traditional song of welcome, Funga Alafia, and a simple circle dance to go with it. We are in the process of making shoebox banjos which we are decorating with African kente cloth, and they look quite beautiful.
      Today I taught the children the traditional Zulu call to meeting, Hi Halipons Ebom Boomtet. We tried out the sound of the djembe, a Ghanaian drum with a deep bass sound which would carry across the village. Then I asked several children to play the role of the village chief calling his villagers to meeting, and the rest of the children pretended to be out in the fields harvesting or tending the sheep or working with their hands, then responding to the chief’s call. They really were engaged in this activity, and enjoyed it quite a lot.
          Over the next three days, we will learn some traditional songs and games of the Caribbean, Central and South America, and try our hand at making a rainstick. If time allows, we may visit Japan and hear a Japanese folk tale about a brave old woman who outsmarted some crafty trolls.
                 Quite the itinerary for our little group of four and five year old globe travellers.
                                                                 Warmly,
                                                  Nancy Hershatter, M.Ed.
            

“My daughter came home and demonstrated the traditional Zulu call to meeting for our neighbors” ~ Parent of a 5 year old child, Wilton, CT