Now in its third year, the Percussion Ensemble is music to the ears of students at IS 302, the site of CHLDC’s Beacon community center. Since fall 2011, Teaching Artist David Freeman has worked with an average of 12 students in grades 5-8 on basic rhythmic hand drum techniques. The children master basic rhythm patterns and then use what they’ve learned to develop their own compositions. Through experiencing this music, the students also gain a deeper understanding of the language and history of West African and Caribbean drumming.
David says that working with kids and adults alike “requires a presence of mind, patience, openness, and a willingness to learn.” He sees drumming as a tool to help his students “build self-esteem, accomplishment, and cooperation in a group setting” and to “develop inner strength that they can access at any time in any situation as they move along in life.” He enjoys being in the moment with his students, calling the classroom “a fascinating place where anything can happen.” He adds, “And each session is a collection of many, many moments.”
David Freeman is a percussionist, composer, and educator based in Brooklyn. Prior to joining ATG, he had co-founded a drumming workshop in 2001 with the Middlesex County Division of Youth Services Juvenile Detention Center, where he taught up until funding was discontinued in 2011. He currently performs with Merkava, the Outer Bridge Ensemble, and has collaborated on projects in the visual arts, dance, and film. David has a passion for working with “at risk” youth and inner-city schools, and sees his work with ATG as an ideal opportunity to continue the mission of bringing music to kids and young adults.
Next Monday, March 17th, David will be performing with his band the Outer Bridge Ensemble for students in the CHLDC/Beacon program. Please join us at 4:30 PM at Cypress Hills LDC/Beacon, 350 Linwood St., Brooklyn, NY.