“So many groups who perform here have interactive sections of their programs, but it is rare that I see the children respond in the lively and uninhibited way that they did with Wula.”
Children’s Museum of Manhattan
Rooted in the music and dance of the African diaspora, our youth programs are designed to educate, empower, and entertain.
Specifically guided to each age group, we are happy to design a custom program that fits your group’s needs. Alternately, choose from our menu: Drum Class, Dance Class, Assembly Program, or Drums of the World. Our world class, seasoned teaching artists and performers are master drummers and dancers from Africa and its diaspora. We love African drumming and dancing, as it promotes cultural diversity and confidence through self-expression. We know that this music and dance has the capacity to transform every child’s life.
Our assembly program consists of group repertory performance, audience participation, and general history of the rhythms, dances and culture. To begin our program, we greet the audience with a call and response exercise. Then we introduce the instruments, dances, and the people. In West Africa, there are 3 main reasons why people drum and dance. To call the community, celebrate, to help people work. We show examples of this and have a great time learning about the culture and feeling the power of the drums and movement it inspires!
Drumming is great for co-ordination, concentration, memory, focus, team work, and self expression. We provide drums for each student to play and build skills like sharing, responsibility, and teamwork through jamming together. We are flexible to teach any size group, but the ideal group size for drumming class is 30 or less. Students will play rhythms from West African and learn about the ethnic groups, history, purpose, and cultural context of the music.
West African dance is one of the most fun and high-energy activities on the planet. Participants will move, step, slide, and jump, to the rhythms of live drumming accompaniment. We will demonstrate how African dancing, drumming, and singing work together to create a sense of community and joy.