St John Bosco Teaching School Alliance
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Archive for February, 2010

Latin American Music

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Year 4 children enjoyed a taste of Latin American music and culture following the visit of music group ‘Caliche’ last Thursday. The event was part of local ‘diversity’ week in which children focussed on other cultures from around the globe.

During the Caliche visit the children gained a massive insight into music from South America including the origin of their instruments all of which were made from natural materials from the mountains and rainforests many centuries ago.

The children had the chance to re-create traditional beats and rhythms from the Aztecs and Incas using bombo drums from Chile, shajshas – a type of shaker from Peruvia, the clave sticks of Brazil and a range of other instruments. Although not easy everyone agreed they sound much better than their modern day equivalents! The culmination of the day was a whole class performance using Andean Panpipes, not an easy skill to master, but the final result sounded great.

Everyone also learned a great deal about the background to the songs and instruments and how they take their place in history following the Spanish takeover of many Latin American countries. They learned about aspects of Latin American life, from history and today, how dance such as salsa has developed and enhanced their understanding of global issues such as recycling and the importance of the rainforests

The activities were superbly delivered by Fredy Aburto and Johny Teran, genuine South American musicians.

By using authentic instruments and costumes and with lots of hands on participation the children were absolutely entrances and everyone had a terrific time and didn’t want the session to end. It truly was about as close as you could be to learning about life and music in Latin America without actually being there and the childrens’ learning in music, Geography, citizenship and language has benefited immensely thanks to the experience.