Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, Sat 19 Jan (percussion) & Sat 26 Jan (singing)
Given that most children derive pleasure from a) making lots of noise and b) hitting things, a drumming workshop for kids seems like a match made in heaven. For the past three years, Helen Smith of Samba company Big Groove has been running sell-out percussion workshops at Celtic Connections, and is about to pull out her Tom-tom drums for the fourth time.
‘Children can pick rhythms up really quickly and they’re usually drumming within ten or 15 minutes,’ says Smith. ‘I teach them a little word pattern, which will help them remember the beat once we start drumming, and then we just go for it.’ Smith will be running two children’s workshops at Celtic Connections, aimed at ages 4–6 and 7–10, and will provide drums and sticks for every child and any adults itching to get involved.
Later on in the Celtic Connections programme, Chrissie Stewart-Skinner will dust off a few pre-school classics in ‘Singin on yer Mammy’s Knee’. Highlighting the developmental benefits singing with young children can bring, the workshop will feature interactive songs and games for under fives, which parents, carers and playworkers can enjoy with their young charges.
One of the key enjoyment factors with both workshops, is creating music with other people – something Smith feels holds huge appeal. ‘It’s a group music-making process,’ she says. ‘So everyone is producing a sound and making a tune together – and that’s definitely something that the kids enjoy.’