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Ghanaian Drumming

Junior High general music students in Mr. Bellamy, Mrs. Phetteplace and Mrs. Rafferty’s classes visited Barry Primary on Thursday, October 24th to give a special performance of Ghanaian drumming, dance and culture. 

Through the performance, they shared information about Ghanaian culture and invited the 2nd grade students to dance and play Ghanaian drums and other instruments. Students were smiling from ear to ear as they performed and played the Ghanaian music. Students and teachers wore traditional Ghanaian dress called a “kente.” The different clothing and meaning behind the colors of the clothing was explained to the 2nd graders by the Junior High Students. One of the songs performed was called Kpanlogo, which is a Ghanaian independence song.  

7th grade student, Sophie Meyer said, “I like drumming because music in general is so fun. Music has the ability to change my mood and make me feel good and happy. I hope the second graders take away from this performance that Ghanaian drumming is about building community- everyone comes together and has fun singing and dancing!”

Sharon Phetteplace, JH General Music teacher said, “Students have learned about Ghanaian culture traditions and culture in music class. We wanted to take this to the next level and make the experience more authentic for them by ensuring that students had an opportunity to perform the dances and songs they have been working so hard on. We knew that the Barry 2nd graders would be a captive audience so we decided to perform at Barry Primary.” 

“Ghanaian drumming has been part of the general music curriculum for many years. We started with just a few drums and buckets. Soon we expanded the program and through grants and got enough drums for everyone to use. General music class is a place where we want to make music accessible to everyone, especially students that are not a member of a traditional band, choir or orchestra.” said music department chair Jen Rafferty. 

The video below shows the performance and captures the fun that was had on that day! 



Mr. Michael J. Hoose, Superintendent

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Cortland, NY 13045

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