Caribbean music workshop hits right note

Music and merriment were child’s play at Camana Bay’s packed Caribbean music workshop last Saturday.

caribbean music

Lead singer of Bona Fide and workshop tutor Isadora Ferrao sings The Lion Sleeps Tonight. Photo: Elphina Magona

The colourful event, held at The Paseo and Gardenia Court, was the first of its kind and provided a multicultural celebration and introduction to the percussion sounds of the region.

Around 150 children, ranging in age from three- to 12-years-old, took part in the 45-minute long sessions, which explored rhythm, melody, harmony, sound and tone. Using tambourines, triangles, drums and shakers the children gave two 15-minute long performances for bystanders.

The fun yet educational event saw children learn how to drum and sing along to new and half-remembered songs that are so much a part of the Caribbean.

Ten-year-old Cari Nelson was one of the many attendees who enjoyed the morning workshops.

‘I really liked the 10-12-year-olds Soca Stingray session because I was with my friends,’ she said.

‘Our teacher was very nice… We learned and performed Hot, Hot, Hot and got to colour in our own bandanas and waved them about in tune with the song.’

For members of local band Bona Fide, the event was something of a joint venture. While lead singer Isadora Ferrao taught lively singing workshops, the group’s manager and drummer, Rennard Powell, tutored the popular rhythm and percussion sessions.

‘We were overwhelmed by the turnout and the sheer enthusiasm of the kids,’ Ms Ferrao said.

‘I think the children not only learned to appreciate Caribbean music but gained a little cultural awareness and pride in the region’s rich musical offerings.’

As well as the workshops, children also enjoyed craft making at the craft station. Many chose to make colourful rice-filled shakers, toys and candy coloured necklaces.

‘Inspiring children, spreading enthusiasm for regional music and above all giving children the chance to be musicians was the main focus for this event,’ said Dart Realty Events Manager Molly Braggs.

She added that ‘Bona Fide bring a high level of energy and enthusiasm and fun to all of their events which the participating children thoroughly enjoyed’.

The Caribbean music workshop was staffed by volunteers from Dart Realty and students from Cayman International School.