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Masamba Youth Project restarts free drumming lessons for children

Children over nine years old are now able to attend free weekly drumming workshops in Basin Lane, in the heart of Dublin 8.

Photo Credit: Masamba Samba School Facebook page 

Masamba Samba School was founded in 1994 and has recently moved into its new home on Basin Lane. It has been providing free workshops for children since 1999.  

Children over the age of nine attend for free. The project was put in place to allow children to develop skills such as interpersonal and intrapersonal, cultural diversity and inclusion. They learnt the structure of music as well.  

“It was one of those ‘lightbulb moments’ where we looked at each other and thought wouldn’t it be good to do something for kids in the inner city?”

– SIMEON SMITH, MUSICAL DIRECTOR OF MASAMBA SAMBA SCHOOL

Director Simeon Smith says children from the school often perform at local events. “In that way they develop pride of place in where they live and also a sense of personal pride in that they have skills that are valued in the wider community.” 

The 30-40 minute lessons usually begin with some simple clapping games to convey how to work the instruments. After this all students will have their own instrument to use, with hopes that after half an hour the whole class will be playing with confidence as a samba band. 

Smith explains how the idea originated when they were rehearsing outside and children around them began to join in. “It was one of those ‘lightbulb moments’ where we looked at each other and thought wouldn’t it be good to do something for kids in the inner city?” 

Photo Credit: Masamba Samba School Facebook page 

“Playing music allows us to develop all sorts of valuable communication skills and self-esteem which in turn can lead to a sense of civic pride and civic responsibility,” says Smith.

He also adds that the school likes to target public events that have a social or developmental aspect to them, and they always ensure the children are aware of these aspects of the performance. 

Photo Credit: Masamba Samba School Facebook page.

The Youth Project has helped many people gain confidence and develop their understanding of music structure. The project has also encouraged music making in the community.  

Smith notes that, reconnecting with the young people he taught, when they are adults and seeing how they remember the lessons in such a positive light made the project feel very rewarding.  

“Some people have even told us that they got involved in community work and other developmental careers as a direct result of being part of the Masamba youth project,” Smith adds.

The free drumming lessons will continue every Thursday from 4:15pm-6pm. Anyone over the age of nine who would like to learn drums and percussion are free to attend. 

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