Children's Day 2008; Review! (pictures to come... stay posted!)

TEMBU AND THE LION – An African Folktale

The only problem with this Children's Day in Regina was that the children had WAY too much fun! What a great day! It started off with a reading of the story, “Tembu and the Lion”. To summarize, Tembu, a young African boy, went for a walk. He encountered a lion and screamed in distress. His mother heard his calls for help and ran to get help. The lion's straggly mane was actually in serious need of help so the wise mother finds a solution and everyone celebrates the lion's release of Tembu.

The whole group listened again to the story but with a sound carpet accompanying it. The story was beginning to come to life.

The entire group was divided into three smaller ones. The group with Sheryl Salen learned about Africa and African dancing. The students all acted out the parts of Tembu, the lion, Tembu's mom, women of the village, and the men in the field. There were some very talented actors and dancers here!

In Richard Dube's session, the students first were taught the high and low sounds of drumming.Using the different sounds, fun rhythms were played. Echoes were next and they led to astory that employed short patterns to enhance different parts. Non-pitched instruments were introduced and incorporated, combining words and short sentences to help students remember the patterns. Layering of sounds made a wonderful drum piece. Last came the BP and sound interwoven with the yabadabadoo drum piece called “Lamba” that brought the exciting session to an end.

Pat Kelly began his session by introducing the group to “Sansa Kroma” from Ghana. First, they learned the words and melody of the song. Then came the rock passing game using colourfully painted rocks. Finally, song and game were combined. Next the students moved to the Orff pitched instruments. They learned about the history of the instruments, reviewed playing technique on the instruments, and played the pentatonic scale. The parts that each instrument would play was learned first by the whole group starting with body percussion and then putting it onto whatever instrument the student was playing. Pat then explained to the students which instruments would play each of the parts the whole group had learned. The final performance began with the contra-bass and added each group of instruments from low to high and finally the “Funga Alafia” song which had been learned during the dance session was added to the instrumentation. Each part played four times before the next entered. To end the piece each instrument group was dropped from the ensemble sound one at a time beginning with the highest so that the last sound heard was that of the contra-bass which had introduced the piece.

Now it was time to bring it all together. There were students on drums, students on windchimes and temple blocks and cymbal, students on vibraslap and rain stick and maracas and metallophones, students on little glockenspiels and on big xylophones, students dancing and acting and playing a stone game. It truly was amazing how in such a short time, these students and their leaders produced a fine, fine performance. Thank you Sheryl, Pat, Richard and Orff Saskatchewan for a wonderful day!

- submitted by the gorgeous women of Orff