We offer developmental programmes in diversity, inclusion and wellbeing through the arts, underpinning and encompassing the core curriculum. Our exciting delivery is perfectly adapted for schools, exploring and using instruments and materials for a hands-on experiences.
All our programmes are developmental and shaped around the year group we are working with. We believe verbal and non-verbal expression aids confidence in communicating with others. Communication is an important life skill, not just in learning but also in all areas of life, so this is a core theme throughout all we do. We are strong advocates of learning through exploration and enjoyment.
All our practitioners are trained by our Programme Manager, Karim Mbaye, a Master Drummer from Senegal. Karim’s heritage is from a long line of Griot Masters; the musicians, story-tellers, poets and oral historian of his culture. At Agida African Arts, we share African heritage with knowledge, charisma and fun.
'I would just like to say how amazing you both were yesterday. The school was alive with a buzz of excitement and that was down to you guys. The children and staff alike really enjoyed it. I will be checking the school diary to see when we can fit you in again. Thank you for bringing your culture, fun and excellent to Norton-le-Moors, we feel privileged.' Kate Adams, Class Teacher
Using African drums, suitable for small hands and making memorable rhythms. ‘Exploring the beat’, children are encouraged to play, sing, move and dance along with their Agida African Arts Practitioner. Drumming sessions enable children of all levels to work as one and communication is through listening and responding. These workshops are very popular and we find children embrace the whole experience. They learn a unique skill that becomes a talking point for a long time.
Explore, create and play – using tools and techniques to assemble, create and join materials. We encourage use of bright colours and designs to create pictures and images such as making traditional African prints, masks or ‘self-portraits’ in celebratory African colours. In exploring traditional West African patterns, we engage children in discussion about traditions and awareness and difference of others using discrete learning during ‘hands on’ activities, rather than ‘talk and listen’ based learning. Each workshop embodies positive communication, creativity and fun, leaving children with a sense of achievement.
African folklore and ‘tall-tales’ from Africa, handed down to and shared by our wonderfully entertaining practitioners. At Agida we love outside story-telling, under trees or out in the open just like stories are told in Africa. These workshops are delivered together with percussion and/or stringed accompaniment (the Kora) to keep all engaged. Word repetition is used and movement encouraged. Time to express and respond is key to this activity, to give the child inclusive participation. It includes encouragement of choral speaking too!
DANCE: There are many traditional dance styles from West Africa but at Agida we teach ‘sabar’ dance. Sabar is the name of the Senegalese traditional drum, played using hand and stick and the dance style is of the same name. Sabar dancing is energetic and once a few moves are taught, it’s time to ‘free-style’, and share creativity, adding variety to the vibrant dance style. After expending energy ‘freestyle’, a choreographed dance completes the hour-long workshop.
During our well-being workshops we work in the context of ‘family’, on a level playing field, where confidence and self-esteem grows, so we guarantee by the end of the session there’s music-making, singing and dancing. African drumming can help people to feel good about themselves. It can transport from negative thoughts and feeling, into a positive state of mind, and feeling of energy and well-being. Studies have shown that drumming promotes wellness and wellbeing and can be practiced by any age, race, denomination…everyone!
October is a very exciting time at Agida! We welcome the month to embrace Black History and love sharing culture, heritage and African blessings within our workshops. BHM is an annual celebration, where schools share with their pupils strong black African role models, such as Martin Luther King and Mary Seacole, recognising the role they played in history. Our lead practitioner Karim talks about his mum, she’s amazing…find out why on our website! Our workshops are tailored to the school studies and reinforce classroom learning in a constructive and interactive way. We share African artefacts, such as musical instruments unique to Senegal – tea, coffee, ‘bissap’ (a refreshing traditional Senegalese drink) and have fun using our senses to smell, touch and explore.
For older children studying Black History, we look at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Goree Island, in Senegal - where our Artistic Director and Workshop Facilitator, Karim Mbaye is from. He gives an overview of the transatlantic slave trade, discussing ‘The Door of No Return’ and what it meant to his ancestors. This session ends by looking at the Island of Goree today.
Using African activities to engage all pupils, our workshops promote spiritual, moral, social and cultural values, through sharing life in the UK and Africa. Our practitioners guide and encourage growth in acceptance of others and the beliefs of others. During Agida’s drumming sessions, we make connections within a group setting, so all feel equal and valued - there is no right and wrong in African drumming, just exploration and fun. Our workshops bring out the best qualities in all – we witness children, during the learning process, show support and tolerance to others as they, individually, and at different times grasp understanding of the rhythms. They explore together, understand together and grow together to play in unison. African drumming builds a cohesive unit, embracing working together to make an impact of sound and energy. Our practitioners accompany with polyrhythms to the regular beat the children learn and the music-making is exhilarating. Agida African Arts love sharing African culture and listening to others share theirs. We feel honoured to open minds to new ideas, creativity, acceptance and individuality.
African Drumming is an art form.
For pupils, playing African drums, accompanied by a Griot practitioner, requires little experience of playing a musical instrument and enables children to quickly feel they are making a worthwhile contribution to a musical ensemble.
Key Stage 1
Pupils should be taught to:
· use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes
· play tuned and untuned instruments musically
· listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music
· experiment with, create, select and combine sounds using the interrelated dimensions of music
African drumming allows learners of ‘Key Stage One’, to not only be creative, but to express themselves in a natural way. Agida Africa's drumming workshops enable children to explore music in a fun and accessible way, meeting the above objectives.
Key Stage 2
Pupils should be taught to sing and play musically with increasing confidence and control. They should develop an understanding of musical composition, organising and manipulating ideas within musical structures and reproducing sounds from aural memory.
Pupils should be taught to:
· play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression
· improvise and compose music for a range of purposes using the interrelated dimensions of music
· listen with attention to detail and recall sounds with increasing aural memory
· use and understand staff and other musical notations
· appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians
· develop an understanding of the history of music
African drumming allows learners at ‘Key Stage Two’ to engage in a musical experience, making more complex learning objectives accessible, reaching targets. Learners are able to participate in solo and ensemble performances, making worthwhile contributions, aiding confidence. African drumming promotes and enables understanding of a different musical tradition.
Key Stage 3
Pupils should build on their previous knowledge and skills through performing, composing and listening. They should develop their vocal and/or instrumental fluency, accuracy and expressiveness, and understand musical structures, styles, genres and traditions, identifying the expressive use of musical dimensions. They should listen with increasing discrimination and awareness to inform their practice as musicians. They should use technologies appropriately and appreciate and understand a wide range of musical contexts and styles.
Pupils should be taught to:
· play and perform confidently in a range of solo and ensemble contexts using their voice, playing instruments musically, fluently and with accuracy and expression
· improvise and compose; and extend and develop musical ideas by drawing on a range of musical structures, styles, genres and traditions
· use staff and other relevant notations appropriately and accurately in a range of musical styles, genres and traditions
· identify and use the interrelated dimensions of music expressively and with increasing sophistication, including use of tonalities, different types of scales and other musical devices
· listen with increasing discrimination to a wide range of music from great composers and musicians
· develop a deepening understanding of the music that they perform and to which they listen, and its history
African drumming allows learners at ‘Key Stage Three’ to not only play and perform confidently but develop instrumental fluency and expressiveness. Learners experiencing African drumming at this stage will gain an understanding of world music, and enhance their understanding of performance. The musical arrangements taught and employed, promote a unique understanding of West African music style, its genre and its traditions.