VOLNEY, NY – Volney Elementary School students’ musical skills were put to the test during a recent drumming workshop with Biboti Ouikahilo and friends.
In preparation of Ouikahilo’s visit, music teacher Christine Sicurella taught students in grades kindergarten through six about drum parts, rhythm and African culture.
African drumming and dancing workshops were offered to students in fourth through sixth grade, and a school-wide presentation was offered.
Ouikahilo and his group sang and danced their way on stage, wearing bright-colored traditional African clothing.
Students bobbed their heads to the beat of the music and mimicked movement they saw on stage.
Group members explained different dances and played a variety of songs, which Ouikahilo explained comes from whatever the people are feeling the moment they perform.
Students wanted to know how the dancers jumped so high, where they were from, how many instruments they can play and who was the best dancer in the group.
In the classroom workshops, performer Joshua Williams helped Ouikahilo teach students African drumming basics.
“We’re awesome!” one student shouted after hearing the sounds.