New Class To Drum Up Love For Music


Mr. Holesovsky leads students in African Street Drumming class, a new elective offered this year.

Mikayla Kudron, A&E Editor

“Human beings are wired for sound. Something special happens that uplifts the soul as we make music together.” It was with this spirit that Mr. Holesovsky, West Springfield High School’s band, chorus, and piano teacher, created and teaches African Street Drumming class. His intent is for the class to attract students who do not typically gravitate towards music classes, whether for lack of confidence or interest. “I thought a lot about a music class that kids might really enjoy,” Mr. H said. “Something hands on those students who never took a music class could jump right in and participate.”

Along with providing students an opportunity for musical enrichment and fun, African street drumming is also a draw for those not musically or artistically inclined to earn fine arts credits necessary for graduation. Experienced musicians are also encouraged to give African street drumming a try. The class combines traditional African hand drums and the common instruments used in street drumming- upside down five-gallon buckets.

The style of drumming seen on the streets of Africa is so vastly different from what has traditionally been taught at WSHS that this class could appeal to anyone looking for something new and fun. African street drumming is often heard outside of sporting events as well as in major African cities, similar to the street performers in American cities.

“I have always been moved by African drumming,” explained Mr. H. “My parents brought me to many diverse concerts growing up.” These included drum troupes from Ghana, an African country whose name means “Warrior” in the language of Soninke. A lot of thought goes into the rhythms created through African drumming. The speed of drumming often times represents a certain emotion or stage in one’s life- increasing speed may represent chaos, while a steady beat could symbolize everyday life.

“Playing drums in this manner is a communal experience,” Mr. H explained.

“It allows for a diverse group of students to create grooves and beats so that we can share in the experience of the benefits of rhythm.””

— -Mr. Holesovsky

Music can be both a creative outlet and a fun, stress-free activity. He has no doubt the students will have fun in the class and hopes they will gain the confidence to put on a performance for the school. So whether you are interested in music, want to try something new, or are just looking for your required fine arts classes, Mr. Holesovsky encourages you to join African street drumming.

Mr. Holesovsky leads students in African Street Drumming class, a new elective offered this year.