Tuesday, January 27, 2015 - 8:23:56 PM

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Students Learn African Drumming from a Native Ghanian

"When I had the opportunity, when I thought it might be possible to bring him here, I jumped on it," said Katherine Gould, the music teacher at OA Middle School.

"I'm so happy for them to be smiling, getting the music, playing the drum and get up and dance," said Sulley Imoro, a native Ghanian who teaches African drumming and dance.

Imoro first learned drumming and dancing from his father in Ghana, and went on to teach at a university there.

"One of my teachers told me if you keep this and encouraged me so much, and if you listen and practice, you will be somebody someday. And actually, I did," said Imoro.
 
Imoro travels annually to the United States bring the spirit of Ghana to students of all ages.

"I feel great, and I feel that we need to share our culture to non-Ghanians, and people who would not understand our culture," said Imoro.

Gould met Imoro three years ago, and fell in love with African drumming. She has been to Ghana twice since then. She says she couldn't wait to share her passion with her students.

"At first they did look tentative. But they got into it and they were excited about it. And I think it's so great for them to realize that they can like something outside of what they listen to on the radio," said Gould.
 
And the students agreed..

"Here in America drumming is much different than in Africa. In Africa, it has more of a culture to it," said McKenzie Hart, an 8th grader at OA Middle School.

"I was telling to my spirit that I want to die on stage. I love to dance, and I love to share it," said Imoro.

"There's nothing like actually experiencing it," said Gould.

Some students enjoyed the performance so much that they gave up their lunch period to drum and dance a second time.

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