World Music

World Music offers a kinesthetic approach to learning. Students journey into a rich cultural landscape integrating mind, body, and spirit, through high-energy, hands-on exploration of the local music and traditions of other countries and cultures.  Students in the World Music Department study the folkloric percussion traditions of Japanese Taiko, West African, Afro-Brazilian, Afro-Cuban drumming, Balinese Gamelan and Chant, Steel Pan and Ukulele.

Prior musical background or proficiency in a musical instrument are not required to audition. We seek curious students with a strong desire to learn about the music of world cultures and a strong sense of rhythm. 

Audition Instructions

WHAT WILL YOU PREPARE IN ADVANCE AND PERFORM AT THE WORLD MUSIC AUDITION?

Learn these 3 rhythmic phrases as shown in the tutorial video (watch here) and create an original composition.

FIRST THREE PHRASES OF MATSURI DAIKO - Watch the video for the tutorial.  Choreography (arm movement) is critical to demonstrate correctly. Each phrase has the same “answer” on the side of the drum.  Don = hit on drum, Ka/ra = hit on rim:

  • Phrase 1:   Don Don   Don kara ka-ka
  • Phrase 2:   Don Don Ka Don Don kara ka-ka
  • Phrase 3:   Ka Don Ka Don DOn  kara ka-ka

STRAIGHT AND SWUNG CLAVE - Using alternating 16th notes between your right and left hand, play an accented 3/2 clave for 4 bars and switch into 3/2 swung clave at metronome setting 100 bpm. Watch the video for demonstration.

ODD EVEN PATTERN - (3-4-8-11-1-1-5-2-2-4-2-2-4) Each number represents the number of times you hit the drum alternating with your right and left. After the odd numbers: - jump and click your drumsticks above your head and say "hup!". Return to same drum. After the even numbers: take a step to the drum on your right, while moving your drumsticks to mimic windshield wipers moving from right to left and say "so-re!".  

ORIGINAL COMPOSITION (30 seconds - 1 minute in length max)

  • use any of our drums, we have lots of taiko, tuned congas, Afro-Brazilian batucada/bateria drums, ukuleles and a keyboard (if you need a drum kit or another instrument that is large please email to arrange ahead of time)

  • think outside the box and showcase your creativity

  • composition must include these components:

    • use your voice (call out, not melodic singing) 

    • body movement (drummer groove or arm choreography)

    • title of piece and inspiration

 

WHAT WILL YOU DO DURING THE WORLD MUSIC AUDITION? 

Auditioning students must attend both group and individual portions of the audition.

A group activity with all candidates:

  • Warm up on the drums

  • Theatre improvisation and group play

  • Taiko Drumming Class (including the prepared Odd Even Pattern)

  • Afro-Brazilian Drumming Class 

An individual portion:

  • Present Original Composition 

  • Prepared Straight Swung Clave

  • Q & A with panel 

 

HOW LONG WILL THE WORLD MUSIC AUDITION LAST?

The World Music audition will last approximately 3 hours or more depending on number of candidates.

 

WHAT WILL YOU WEAR TO THE WORLD MUSIC AUDITION?

  • comfortable, athletic clothing that you can move freely in 

  • shoes not allowed inside the room, be sure to wear socks

 

WHAT WILL YOU BRING WITH YOU THE DAY OF THE WORLD MUSIC AUDITION?

  • Water

  • All instruments and sticks/mallets will be provided 

 

Candidates will be evaluated on their mastery of the prepared rhythms, their ability to learn new phrases in the Taiko and Afro-Brazilian group classes, solo performance, and enthusiasm for this field.   Performance potential during the audition will be assessed so remember to breathe, smile, or show whatever emotion is appropriate to your drumming. Have fun! Be prepared to spend three full hours at the audition. 

World Music Artists