Phoenix Students Get A Lesson In Drumming, Culture

Biboti Ouikahilo shows students some traditional African dance moves as part of an arts-in-education workshop in the Phoenix Central School District.

Biboti Ouikahilo shows students some traditional African dance moves as part of an arts-in-education workshop in the Phoenix Central School District.

Biboti Ouikahilo demonstrates his drumming skills during a recent workshop at Emerson J. Dillon Middle School.
Biboti Ouikahilo demonstrates his drumming skills during a recent workshop at Emerson J. Dillon Middle School.

PHOENIX – Music was in the air at Emerson J. Dillon Middle School recently as performer Biboti Ouikahilo presented an African drumming workshop.

The multi-talented artist showed off his skills and taught seventh and eighth graders his trade.

Wearing clothes representative of his native culture in the Ivory Coast, Ouikahilo introduced students to African drumming and dance.

Two students follow Biboti Ouikahilo’s lead on the drums.
Two students follow Biboti Ouikahilo’s lead on the drums.

Armed with dozens of drums made of animal skins, Ouikahilo provided students with a hands-on music lesson, as he played a set and the students followed suit, staying true to the beat and rhythm.

In addition to the drumming demonstration, Ouikahilo showed off his dancing skills.

Groups of students and teachers joined in the routine as well.

Biboti Ouikahilo shows students some traditional African dance moves as part of an arts-in-education workshop in the Phoenix Central School District.
Biboti Ouikahilo shows students some traditional African dance moves as part of an arts-in-education workshop in the Phoenix Central School District.

The arts-in-education offering was held in conjunction with Wacheva Cultural Arts, which creates unique learning opportunities for students.

“Our purpose as a multicultural arts organization is to create programs involving different cultures where the community is able to experience an expansive understanding of many cultures and ethnic artistic traditions,” according to Wacheva Cultural Arts. “Witnessing teachers sharing their knowledge with students is like watering the garden for its survival. It’s a way to immortalize these cultures because humanity can cease to exist, but the traditions remain alive through the voice of others.”