March 13: Ju Ju at Mundo Verde Public Charter School
Go-go artist, William “Ju Ju” House, facilitated a workshop with twenty-four students in Ms. Walson’s fourth-grade music class at Mundo Verde Public Charter School on March 13, 2018.
Students crowded around Ju Ju as he began the session by asking students, “What’s the most important rule in basketball?” Many students responded by yelling, “teamwork!” Ju Ju told the students that teamwork was also a tenant of playing go-go music.
Walson divided the students into three groups and Ju Ju directed them to establish a group name. Group names included: The Goodwood, The Ju Ju’s, after the go-go artist, and Do splat.
Students sat by the group in a semi-circle waiting patiently for his directions. Before teaching students a beat, Ju Ju established a rhythm by asking students to follow along as he clapped and stomped on the floor. Once students demonstrated their ability to work as a team to create a beat, Ju Ju began to call on groups to perform.
Each group was asked to stand at Ju Ju’s drum set and instrument by instrument, he taught the students a rhythm. After Ju Ju introduced the performers he would say “one two” and students in the classroom would yell back, “give me that beat.”
Walson then called on individual students to sit at one of the eight drum sets, donated by Seven Drum City, and Ju Ju directed students to play a variety of beats. Ju Ju taught the students the difference between a go-go beat, a bounce beat, and a pocket beat. Students were buzzing with excitement as everyone in the classroom took turns practicing how to play go-go music on the drum sets.
At the end of the session, Ms. Walson asked, “Can Ju Ju come back? He was so great with the students!”