Hands-on Experience with African Instruments overview image

Hands-on Experience with African Instruments

  • Post Date: 10/25/2002
  • Reading Time: 1 minute read

90 students from the “World Music” class, many of them non-music majors, visited the Museum. In the Africa Gallery students were able to compare the instruments on display with those already studied in the African unit. At the same time, the photos and text in the gallery furthered their experience of varied contexts for musical performance.

The instruments in the education collection provided a rare opportunity to put theoretical concepts into practice. Students were asked by teaching assistant and Spurlock employee Jenny Fraser to classify the instruments they saw and to attempt to perform polyrhythm, a concept explored in the class in which conflicting rhythms are layered on top of each other. It was an exciting moment for many of the students to actually get to touch and play instruments, rather than just talk about them! For 3 hours the Rowe Learning Center was turned into a music class room, with a cacophony of sounds traveling throughout the Museum, bringing just a few curious visitors to see what was happening.

  • Jenny leads the group during a playing session.
    Jenny leads the group during a playing session.