June 3: Ju Ju at E.L. Haynes
William “Ju Ju” House visited the classroom of music teacher Ashton Conklin at E.L. Haynes Public Charter School. Ju Ju started off talking about the history of go-go and how he got involved with the music.
After a brief drumming demonstration, Ju Ju had students grab instruments and begin playing. He explained the difference between a “break beat” and “bounce beat.” While playing, Ju Ju instructed the students when to switch between the two in order to change the rhythm of the song.
Students were then separated into three-person groups. Each group had to play a short selection in order to focus on the instrument they were assigned. Ju Ju went around to each student and gave them individual instruction on what and how to play.
Near the end of class, there was time for Q&A. A student asked Ju Ju how he became to be such an amazing drummer. He explained the importance of practice in order to improve on one’s craft. He said as a kid he was drumming constantly and on everything. The lessons he shared could be applied to music and life.
Ashton Conklin was very pleased with the experience. He commented,
Ju Ju connected with our students in so many powerful ways during his visit. Most of all, it was his ability to connect with the students through the music that made the workshop an exhilarating and unforgettable experience for everyone in the room. His energy, talent, knowledge, and ability to get them all engaged in playing go-go beats together for over an hour was simply amazing. Ju Ju spoke with the students about go-go styles and his own experience as a performer but used most of the time allowing them to experience playing pocket and bounce beats together. I couldn’t imagine a better experience with a visiting artist in my classroom and my students have been talking about the workshop ever since.