Roots Music Camp

Special guest artist for this week includes acclaimed singer / song-writer / banjo player / fiddler Hannah Shira Naiman!

Drawing from old time and Appalachian musics, bluegrass, shaped note singing, and other folk musics from North America as well as the English and Celtic traditions, Roots Music Week is all about group singing and playing folk songs. While there is always room for those who just want to sing, this week we welcome campers to bring their fiddle, guitar, ukulele, or banjo – or we can arrange the rental for those following a new found interest on one of these instruments. Guest artist co-leading the week is acclaimed singer/banjo/fiddler/song writer Hannah Shira Naiman, who happens to also be a professionally trained dancer, so there’s a chance we’ll also be doing a little jigging, clogging or square dancing! As we do in every week, we’ll also be making an instrument and visiting Dufferin Grove park for pizza days and other outdoor activity. The week will end with a coffee house style performance that parents and friends are invited to attend.

No previous training required. But those with skills on or ambition to play violin/fiddle, guitar, ukelel, or banjo will want to consider this week!

Check out our MusiCamp Flickr Gallery for more pics of MusiCamp

MusiCamp 2014

CLICK   HERE   FOR   MusiCamp  2015

 

All day (9am-4pm with extended care options) summer camp for kids (8-14 yrs) in a home studio close to Dufferin Grove Park (Bloor and Dufferin) in Toronto.
July 7 – 11 – The BLUES: FROM SHOUTS TO 12 BARS $225 more info
July 14 – 18 – ROOTS MUSIC (guest artist!) – NEW in 2014! – $275  more info
July 21 – 25 – COMPOSITION & SONG $225 more info
July 28 – Aug 1 – WEST AFRICAN DRUMMING (guest artist!) $275 more info
Aug 18 – 22 – WEST AFRICAN DRUMMING (guest artist!) $275 more info
Class sizes are small.
No formal training is required. No instrument required – just a love of music.
Our intuitive approach to exploring sound, music, composition, the voice, and the weekly themes also functions as a great supplement to conventional music lessons.
We also integrate crafts (instrument and mask making), backyard games, Pizza-making Wednesdays in Dufferin Grove park and other outdoor fun.
Registration forms can be accessed here
visit our Flickr Gallery

MusiCamp at a glance

Roots Music Camp 2014

Roots Music Week $275

July 14 – 18 2014 9 am – 4 pm (extended care available)

… special guest artist for this week includes acclaimed fiddler/singer Rosalyn Dennett!

Roots music

Drawing from old time and Appalachian musics, bluegrass, shaped note singing, and other folk musics from North America as well as the English and Celtic traditions, Roots Music Week is all about group singing and playing folk songs. While there is always room for those who just want to sing, this week we welcome campers to bring their fiddle, guitar, ukulele, or banjo – or we can arrange the rental for those following a new found interest on one of these instruments. Guest artist co-leading the week is acclaimed fiddler/singer Rosalyn Dennett who happens to have some experience teaching dance so there’s a chance we’ll also be doing a little jigging, clogging or square dancing! As we do in every week, we’ll also be making an instrument and visiting Dufferin Grove park for pizza days and other outdoor activity. The week will end with a coffee house style performance that parents and friends are invited to attend.

No previous training required. But those with skills on or ambition to play violin/fiddle, guitar, ukelel, or banjo will want to consider this week!

More Home Made Diddley Bos at MusiCamp

Diddley bos are the precursor to the slide guitar and arguably the first blues instrument. We had intended to make these instruments only during Blues summer camp session but the kids loved them so much we made them every week! Not only that, we incorporated them into the music making of each week – quite a satisfying experience!

Click the picture below to view larger gallery of pics and video.

MusiCamp Diddley Bo, summer camp, kids, music

MusiCamp’s Homemade Diddley Bos

Surprisingly, I got the pics of the DIDDLEY BOs up earlier than I thought. Enjoy! By the way, exploring the acoustic properties of these instruments, we played with different resonators (a bottle for the instructor versus different size tins for campers), using a wooden block as a bridge or not, as well as the placement of the resonator. As you can see, campers were spectacularly creative in how they painted their diddley bos as well!

 

Additional WEST AFRICAN DRUMMING WEEK!

little djembe singer V1 white

We have added an additional West African Drumming Week for Aug 12-16, 9 am – 4 pm with extended care available for your music-loving, creative 8-12 year olds.

THE WEST AFRICAN DRUMMING WEEK is co-hosted by special guest artist AnnA Melnikoff and her orchestra of drums – so NO DRUM NEEDED – a drum will be made available to every camper! Campers will have a chance to play the polyrhythmic accompaniment on 3 bass drums (known as dunun) and develop riffs and patterns on djembes. Focusing on rhythms that accompany rights of passage, participants will have the chance to build masks and also explore the meaning of the drums and the rhythms from the very ancient Mande tradition. (To learn more about Mande music and what we’ll learn click here.)

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Making A Diddley Bo

The video below (click the picture) demonstrates a MusiCamp homemade diddley bo, which is the precursor to the slide guitar and arguably the first blues instrument.

In a few days (or maybe a few weeks ; )  ), I’ll post the whole lot of diddley bos campers made at MusiCamp in its inaugural Blues Week!

diddley bo, musicamp, toronto, summer camp, music

click on the picture to hear what a didley bo sounds like

About Andrea

KuznKidz

Andrea Kuzmich is an award singer, a teacher, an ethnomusicologist (PhD candidate at York University), and mother of 2 boys (5 and 10 years). Her eclectic musical activities defy her conventional classical beginnings. Besides grade 8 piano RCM, choral singing, and performances in four different Canadian Opera Company productions and as a cellist with the McMaster Symphony by the age of 16, Andrea has: sung in a Congolese Gospel Choir; studied Balkan folk music, South Indian singing and drumming, and West African drumming; performed in Big Bands, small jazz combos, as well as contemporary new music ensembles; and specializes in the haunting and ancient harmonies of Caucasus Georgia.

Her PhD in ethnomusicology bridges all this diversity into a cohesive cross-cultural understanding of how musical practice is essential for spiritual, social, and personal well being. Andrea extends this understanding practically in MusiCamp where campers get a chance to explore the wonders and ecstatic moments of music through fun and interactive activities that overcome inhibition and intuitively develop a host of cognitive and social skills associated with music making.

Mande Traditional Music

During the West African Drumming Week, we’ll be exploring the Mande musical tradition – more of which can be read (and seen in videos) just below this introductory section on the history of Mande drumming.

In 1235, the Mande warrior king named Sunjata Keita rose to power and united many kingdoms in West Africa to establish the Mande empire and what would be a 200-year golden age of peace and prosperity in the region.

Musicians at this time were more than just musicians. They were highly valued as negotiators, praise singers and historians. This history and its musical tradition lives on in a large part of west African countries, including Mali, Guinea, Gambia, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, and Guinea Bissau as well as parts of Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.

sundiata king

By the way, the story of Sunjata Keita is incredible since he was born a cripple and was exiled from his home because of this. Yet, he not only overcame his disabilities but established the prosperous Mande empire. More youth-oriented information can be read here: http://www.africa-junior.com/en/youth/knowledges/sundiata-keita.html.

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How MusiCamp Will Explore Mande Music

Guest host AnnA Melnikoff , with her expertise in the Mande drumming tradition, will guide us through this week’s activities. She’ll be bringing her exquisite drums which include djembes and a set of 3 bass drums called dunun. Each dunun has its own pattern which overlap with one another to form a melody upon which djembes can solo. In this week, you’ll get a chance to learn the various dunun patterns, djembe accompaniment patterns as well as a group djembe solo.

Focusing on rhythms that accompany rights of passage, participants will also build masks and explore the meaning of the drums and the rhythms from the very ancient Mande tradition.

Check out the videos below to get a sense of what we’ll be playing in the West African Drumming Week!

 

An Idea of Mande Drumming in Videos

SOUNDS OF MANDE DRUMMING

The 3 drummers standing are playing the dunun – the smallest drum is called the kenkeni, the middle drum is called the sangban and the largest drum is the dundunba. The guys sitting are playing 2 different accompaniment patterns on djembes.

THE SOUND OF THE DJEMBE

This one the drum instructor is demonstrating the 3 different tones on the djembe – tone, slap and bass, or in French “ton,” “claque,” and “bas” . By the way, French is spoken in many West African countries.

THE SOUND OF THE DUNUN

This video starts with a pattern on the middle dunun drum known as the sangban. Then the kenkeni (the smallest drum) is introduced. Note it is the simplest of all the 3 drum patterns but has the most important role of keeping the beat steady. Finally the bass drum, the dundunba, is introduced.

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What are Circle Songs?

Rather then try to explain what are circle songs, have a look at this video “Bobby McFerrin Spontaneous Chorus.”

This performance is like a collection of  circle songs. Bobby McFerrin sings a little repeated melody (an ostinato) and hands it over to a group of singers. Then he creates another melody/ostinato and hands it to the next group of singers, and so on, all the while he may also be soloing (making up a melody) on top of the groove the singers are keeping. By the way, all the singers are most likely not a rehearsed chorus but just audience members who just volunteered to go up on stage.

The approach to circle songs at MusiCamp is not that much different than what you saw in the video. Of course, we won’t be on stage and we’ll start off with very simple melodic patterns and some rhythmic ones as well. And depending on the group, the circle songs can develop musically from there. The wonderful thing is you don’t need to be an amazing singer to create this collective, groovy fun music. Also, campers who wish to explore their soloing abilities will be given that opportunity. Whether they want to scat, howl , make rhythmic noises, or invent a language – the groove set up by the rest of the group gives them an opportunity to explore solo expression in a safe and supported environment. I’m really looking forward to this!

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