Percussion reunites people with cultural roots

Many anthropologists and historians believe that, excluding the human voice, the first musical instruments were percussive handheld items that made sound when they were struck together.  They evolved into drums fashioned out of fallen, hollowed-out logs and then became portable when a skin was stretched over a wooden frame, producing a membranophone.

When those developments started is anyone’s guess, but there is archeological evidence they existed 30,000 years ago in Abyssinia (modern day Ethiopia) and as time went by, people adapted the concept to fit their needs.  Whether it was to provide warning, bolster the confidence of troops going into battle, or establishing the beat for a particular dance, drums became a vital part of people’s culture.

The Ocean County Library will provide a series of programs to bring people back to those cultural roots through a series of programs at its Manchester and Toms River branches this spring.

“BONK! – Expressive Drums and Percussion for Kids!” will give children a chance to express themselves , create rhythms, learn about musical dynamics and make up songs using drums and other percussive instruments.

It will be offered at the Toms River branch for children ages 4-12 Tuesday, March 20, at 6:30 p.m. The Manchester branch will offer the program to children ages 4–8 Monday, May 14, at 10 a.m.

“BONK! For Teens” will introduce them to professional-level hand drums and percussive instruments and create a real ‘drum circle.’  They will learn basic techniques, call and response patterns and dynamics, then create their own rhythms.

It will be offered at the Toms River branch Tuesday, March 20, at 7:30 p.m.

“HeartBeats – Expressive Drum and Percussion Circle for Seniors!” reminds people that it’s never too late to start drumming.  This dynamic program for seniors is designed to inspire, invigorate and entertain through expressive drumming. The group is guided to improvise with pattern suggestions and lively call and response exercises as they develop their drumming skills and create rhythms together.

“HeartBeats” will be offered at the Manchester branch Monday, May 14, at 11 a.m.

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