African Drumming at SJHS

Submitted by april.rockwood on
Students learning about African Drumming
Jeff Ballard teaching about drums


As part of the 9th grade‚Äôs unit on World Cultures, Jeff Ballard, a  former Nebo School District teacher brought over 50 African drums to Springville Junior High and taught each of the 9th graders how to play two African rhythms: djole and sinte. Then, if time permitted, the students would play the rhythms together. According to the World Geography Utah Standard 3: Culture is the total sum of human expression. A culture's purpose, as well as how and where cultures originate, diffuse, and change, are all topics worth studying. Students will explore religion, language, ethnicity and other cultural characteristics (like music and rhythm) by looking at patterns and processes. As students explore what people care about and care for, they can learn not only about other cultures but also about the unique attributes of their own culture. In Africa, drums play a pivotal role in all aspects of African life. They use drums to communicate, inspire, celebrate and mourn with each other. Drums are played during times of birth and death, planting and harvesting, peace and war. Many Africans will break into song doing mundane chores because of the rhythms of living and the sounds we make as humans (i.e. cleaning our home, doing our laundry, weeding our garden, etc.)