West African performer Fana Soro was at Muheim Elementary School last week giving workshops for balafon and percussion as well as dance.
Balafon is a traditional kind of wooden xylophone from West Africa. Fana is a performer and educator from Côte d’Ivoire, a small nation on the west coast of Africa.
During his week-long stay, he conducted classes in which students were able to experience some of the liveliness and joy of the music from his homeland. In the process, he discussed the importance of that music to his culture.
Students participated by learning how to use some of the instruments, such as drums, in a simple but invigorating fashion. In the process, simple dance moves were incorporated to get all students involved.