GHANAIAN DRUMS & DRUMMING

Until relatively recently Ghanaian women were not allowed to play the national traditional drums. That was a man's job!   Women were allowed to sing, clap and dance, but not play the drums.

Margaret is very thankful that tradition has been lifted.

From an early age she, her siblings and friends made their own crude drums and practised with each other. Their rhythmic abilities were clearly evident for all to hear.

When she was studying at the University College of Education in Winneba, Margaret decided to have professional lessons in drumming and dance.

With the help of a friend travelling to Ghana and back on business, Margaret was able to build up a full set of Ghanaian drums in England. Eight to be precise, plus two xylophones, a bell and a variety of other bells and shakers.

She put these to good use when studying in Poland and over recent years in the United Kingdom.

Margaret conducted a workshop of Ghanaian Drumming and Singing as part of week-end of An African Experience at West Dean College, Chichester.

She has taught Ghanaian drumming and dancing in a number of schools and other establishments in England, Wales and Scotland.

She was particularly invited to schools in the Oldham area in May, 2002, to help the children understand cultural differences. This followed the racial problems in the area a few months earlier.

For some time now she has regularly worked with Fun Stations, run by Martyn Hargreaves, during school holidays and half term breaks. Fun Stations is for children of parents who want them gainfully occupied during these times. Centres are in Chester and Tytherington   For details ring 0161 485 8450.

Birthday parties and other events have benefited from Margaret's expertise in Ghanaian drumming and dancing. The mother of George, see picture below, said the children were still talking about the experience weeks after George's birthday party.