Infinite Roots, a drum troupe, recently visited Royle Elementary School in Darien to demonstrate the instruments and drumming technique to the children.
Lead by Kwame Henry Jones, the troupe entered the school common room singing and playing instruments. Jones went on to describe and name the variety of West African drums on the stage, many of which he had made himself. A few children were invited up to try their hand at drumming and demonstrate the different sounds.
The children were taught the names of the instruments, from the standing Senegalese djembe to the small Zimbabwean mbira or "hand piano." They learned that a goatskin drum only should be played by hand, whereas the stronger cowskin drums can be played with a stick.
Many of the children and a few of the teachers joined the troupe on stage, and Jones handed out instruments for them to play. Everyone learned a simple drum beat, while children without instruments were taught an energetic dance routine.
The troupe gave two drums to the school.