"It was a once in a lifetime experience."
- Judy Turnipseed
West African Drumming
Within West African society the drum holds a position of honor and importance. Its charismatic and scintillating rhythms evoke an atmosphere of celebration at all social, spiritual and celebratory events. African music reveals a sophisticated complexity, which has been honed over the ages. The rhythms created by the drums reflect life as it exists in West Africa; the changing seasons, family life, work and spiritual expression.
During West African drum workshops with Laura students will be introduced to the beauty of West African drumming. Through the rhythms taught students will learn the fundamentals and stylistic intricacies of the music. Laura will discuss the cultural histories of each rhythm, the origins of the rhythms and how they are used in celebrations, healing, ceremonies and other aspects of community life. Most students find within the music a deep connection to a cultural history that has existed since the beginnings of humanity.
Workshops are available for children and adults. Drums are provided for students who do not have their own instrument.
Eastern European Music
Students will explore the beauty of Balkan singing during this active and participatory workshop conducted by members of Rusalka. The stylistic qualities of the music will be explored through the songs taught. Students will explore the unique vocal quality associated with Balkan singing, learn the fundamentals of singing turns, grace notes and ornamentals and understand how to blend and tone voices to create a cohesive sound. Workshop participants will acquire knowledge of cultural histories of the regions from which the songs emerge, learn rules that govern Balkan language pronunciation, and experience the joy and satisfaction generated from creating music with others.
Traditional dance is a source of artistic and cultural expression which touches all people with its reverberation of common life elements. By exposing students to the beauty of traditional dance we are giving them a connection to cultural histories that have existed since the beginning of humanity.
We offer workshops which celebrate the traditional dances of West Africa, the Balkan countries and Israel.
Laura provides educators with inservice training on how to integrate cultural arts across the curriculum. Teachers will develop understanding of how to engage their students in writing, reading, dancing, social studies, drama, art, and mathematics using West African percussion as the teaching medium. Workshops can last from 1 hour to all day intensives.
"The success of her workshops Is a testament to the interest in the art form."
- Rogue River Press
"Rich performed her powerful and spirited rhythms throughout, and did a stunning doundoun solo in the rhythm 'Sinte.'"
Susan Levi Wallach-Reporter