Wednesday, 6 August 2008

African Drumming

Drumming is the “heartbeat of the world”, well, according to Education Group instructor Mathis Richet. The African drumming workshops offer primary school pupils the chance to learn basic African drumming techniques along with a brief contextual analysis to why it was important to create drum circles. Not only are the workshops important to give the children an insight to different cultures, but also gives them the opportunity to experience drumbeat and rhythm in unity. Furthermore, the drum beat is “good for the body and soul” according to Shonna Beckwith of Florence.

She believes that the drumming “is evocative, evoking the spirit and energy, and it nurtures self-esteem, listening and cooperation skills, eye-hand coordination and math skills.”

Within a normal African drumming session, certain outcomes are definite and connect to Shonna Beckworth’s statement. Firstly, the drumming will boost energy and receptivity of the pupils, as it will be a different experience within the same environment. Secondly, it sharpens listening and concentration skills and develops personal presence in a group. It is important for the children to work in a group as it teaches them how to share in responsibility and coexist. When you work as a team you show respect to others by accepting their input. The workshops require to children to for a sense of camaraderie as it is an important attribute to work in unison, to create their own uplifting composition, to meet the overall objective or creating something within a team.

In the workshops, the instructor provides each child with an instrument relevant to the chosen theme. In an African drumming workshop, the Djembe drum is the instrument of choice. The Djembe has a great cultural heritage in Africa. Although similar to other drums used within different tribes on the African continent, it has minute but significant differences.

The Djembe is the drum of the Mandinka people, and its origins dates back to the great Mali Empire of the 12th century. Of all the African drums, the djembe has become extremely sought after in the Western world and is regarded as the most popular.

It is also reported that drumming offers therapeutic benefits according to Drumming has been made known to reduce stress and depression. Furthermore, drumming exercises the upper body, develops creativity, and elevates a person self esteem.

As African drumming raises morale, requires exercise and forms comradeship among peers, it is a great activity for a primary school, as it is within the early years where social skills can be adopted.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

New Projects

I have a couple of new projects in the fire at the moment. The website has been created, despite not yet finished and looking rather amateur, its out there! Just got to maintain and optimise it, along with finding a web designer to help me with it, I'm not paying!

Rock Revelations are the next company I am optimising. Website needs work atm, but they have plans already to make a new site, which is desperately needed! The optimising seems straight forward, they have 2 domains which could be an issue.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Shell Step Programme

4 weeks into the Shell Step programme, with 4 to go. Education Group Ltd have given me the task to SEO (search engine optimize) their website. They supply primary schools with african drumming and indian dance along with a whole host of other music and dance workshops.

So far so good. I have altered metatags, joined forums, started blogs (!), formed links, inbound and reciprocal, launched new websites, wrote articles and press releases and published them within press release directories. I have submitted the site into large directories. I have also tweaked current features on the site; uploading a sitemap for userability but also for the infamous 'googlebot' to crawl the site effectively.

Logging stories/artcicles on SWIK/WIKI/ have proven effective as immediately it affects the google listings.

Since my initial research, where the listings were rather low down in the google pages for particular keywords, I have since checked the rankings, and it bodes well for the next 4 weeks, as most have moved dramatically up the rankings, whether it be in the top 10 or top 20.

The next 4 weeks: video production, maintain more reciprocal links, Create a link database.