What kid doesn’t like banging on a drum?
If you are looking for something great to get your kids involved in this summer, there is still some room in the Errington World Music Youth Camp, August 17-28.
Like the music it explores, the camp is highly popular and filling up quickly.
The African marimba, drumming and dance program in the first week August 10-14 has a waiting list, but there is still space in the Japanese taiko drumming and Celtic fiddle/tin whistle program in week two and the Brazilian samba and world guitar camp in week three.
Camp coordinator Val Dare said the program which is in its sixth year welcomed Fahlon Smith this year as the program’s artistic director.
The Errington musician is on summer break from her studies of music performance at UVic and is working with Dare so she can take over the organization of the camps in future years.
Smith who is a member of Kumbana Marimba is an enthusiastic proponent of the camp.
She was an instructor for three years before the program shifted away from a youth-teaching-youth model.
Smith said she has seen first hand how the workshops and performances develop musicianship and community building.
She agreed that drumming builds confidence, self-esteem and leadership and participants not only learn about themselves but their place in the world.
She said it is an enjoyable learning process and at the same time the kids understand what it means to work as a team.
“I always think of music as sports because you are learning and nurturing your own musical talents, especially with drumming in a team setting.”
With percussion, they have to learn to fit different musical parts together.
Whether they are playing the same part or different parts they have to work together to make it sound good. Once they get the hang of listening to each other they can hear how their one part can fit in with the bigger picture,” she said.
The first week of camp features the program’s tried-and-true lessons in South African marimba, gum boot dance and West African drumming and dance.
The focus in the second week will be Japanese taiko drumming and movement, as well as Celtic fiddle and tin whistle.
The third week features world guitar and Brazilian samba percussion and dance.
Each week will be taught by an adult musician working in that genre, and they will be assisted by younger artists.
At the end of each week, there will be a free public recital for students to show off what they have learned.
Smith said the camp really opens their eyes to other musical cultures and students gain appreciation of world music.
The camp is open to all youth aged 8-18 who are interested in hands-on learning and Smith said it is an opportunity to learn from world class artists.
“Each instructor has so much experience and has created a career in music with their genre. A lot of them have studied where their instruments originated.
The taiko drumming instructor Bonnie Soon has stories that go along with the songs, and go back hundreds of years. All of the instructors will share cultural background information and naturally the students will come to understand and appreciate the origins of the instruments,” she said.
Classes start at 10 a.m. and finish at
2 p.m. and during the lunch break, supervised cooperative games are held in the Errington Community Park.
Fees are $75 for one week’s instruction.
The camp registration form can be found at erringtonhall.bc.ca.