SBS News – The beat of my drum: Bringing West African culture to regional kids

“Students from regional and remote areas are being taught the basics of West African drumming in a bid to boost their cultural awareness.

It is a Thursday morning at Wollondilly Public School in Goulburn, Southern New South Wales, and the hall has been taken over by percussion instruments.

Energetic drum teacher Yacou Mbaye takes centre stage and begins to explain how drumming, music and rhythm are an integral part of West African culture and communication.

Mbaye was born in Dakar, in Senegal, and comes from a family of West African storytellers known as ‘griots’.

A professional musician, he now visits hundreds of schools every year as part of the New South Wales Education Department’s West African Drumming program.

The aim is to teach kids the basics of a beat along with the cultural differences between Australia and Mbaye’s homeland.”

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