Students learn about Ghana’s culture through drumming

Dutchess Day School fourth-graders recently had some guests who offered insight into the culture, art and music of Ghana as part of their ongoing study of African cultures and history.

On Friday, Dutchess Day School hosted African drummer Maxwell “Kofi” Donkor, who spent the day teaching fourth-graders in a drumming workshop, then performing with them in a drum circle at a schoolwide assembly.

Donkor also exposed the students to the knowledge, music, culture and art of his homeland of Ghana in West Africa.

Donkor was born in Otumi, Ghana. Though he started his life focusing on visual art and the traditional arts of his Asante culture, he eventually became a drummer. Donkor has traveled extensively to other countries to share drumming and teach about his culture and its music.

The day before Donkor’s workshop, Millbrook School senior Edward Opoku, also from Ghana, spoke to the fourth-graders, stressing that the children should be thankful for their opportunity to receive an education, since it is not guaranteed in the part of the world he comes from.

As part of their study of African cultures, a student trip to Yale University’s African art exhibition is also planned.

On the Web

To learn more about master drummer Maxwell “Kofi” Donkor, visit his website: www.bak2roots.com

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