PHS Students Learn African Drumming

By Candace Burningham

Anyone else love ethnical music? If so this African Drumming class, taught by Connie Ericson (my favorite band lady), Acrama Cofie, and Clit Crawford, is something for you! Just finding out taught the class made me have to go, no matter what, nothing was stopping me. I showed up Wednesday night at 8:00 at Payson Jr. High, ready to do some stellar drumming, dragging Jonathan Bird along with me. After setting up the drums Connie sat in front of the class and started drumming, inviting us to join in. I was so tentative about playing too loud and ruining the song we were creating; I’ve never drummed before so all of this was so new to me. Soon the room was filled with deep rhythms that were each different but worked together nicely. It sounded AWESOME!
After that nice warm up we started with an exercise that Connie called; “call and answer rhythms”. Basically what happened was Connie would play something and ask a question like “what’s your favorite part about spring?”with a beat.  And we would answer with something like “the sound of bird” with our own rhythm that complimented her original beat. I must say we came up with some cool rhythms.
After learning some rhythms that sounded great alone she turned on some music and we played with the music which was incredible! The drums worked perfectly with the music and everyone was really getting into the song. All of my previous worries about not being able to play or stay on beat with the others were washed away. We all there just to have a blast and that’s what we were doing.
So if you want to join this awesome group of a drummer here’s some info for you.
·         They meet every Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. in Payson Jr. High School band room.
·         You don’t need a drum or any drum experience, and it doesn’t matter if you don’t have rhythm because this will teach you to have some.
“It’s easier than any other drumming,” said Lia Whitmen, one of the drummers. So go and have some fun, and hear some tremendous music!