Youngsters get master class in Japanese drumming

Drumming lessons at South Shields School.
Drumming lessons at South Shields School.

Students at a South Tyneside school have been banging the drum for learning.

As part of an initiative designed to broaden their cultural horizons, youngsters at South Shields School were given a master class in Taiko, the art of Japanese drumming.

Chanting, drumming and flag-waving which was incredible to see

Ali McIvor-Cross

Founding member of the Tengu School of Taiko, Jared Hardwick, led Year 7, 8 and 9s in a session of rhythmic drumming, flag waving and martial arts movement.

Assistant head teacher Ali McIvor-Cross, said: “We have an after school club funded by the Japanese Foundation which helps to promote international exchange and mutual understanding across the cultures.

“Not only did our students get to experience Taiko drumming they also got the opportunity to learn about Japanese culture, basic language skills and martial arts.

“The session culminated in a fabulous grand finale with all of the students chanting, drumming and flag waving which was incredible to see.”

Student Billy McBride, 12, of South Shields, who took part in the Taiko master class, said: “We watched a video of lots of different people drumming and waving flags before we got to have a go ourselves.

“There were 17 different types of drum, which could all be played in different ways, and it was great to be able to try something different while also learning about Japanese culture and history.”

The drumming workshop is part of an extensive after school enrichment programme for students at South Shields School which includes art clubs, music sessions, homework and reading groups, as well as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) classes.

“Students don’t just benefit from formal lessons during school hours,” added Mrs McIvor-Cross.

“The extra activities that we provide really boost their education and help them to grow into well rounded young people.

“We have a fantastic uptake in our co-curriculum classes with over 100 students staying back on an evening, which is just under one third of all pupils in our Key Stage 3.”