4th graders have been learning about Cuban music this past month. The book, "Drum Dream Girl" by Margarita Engle and Rafael Lopez, was inspired by a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba's traditional taboo against female drummers. This story features the bongos, timbales and conga drums along with the determination of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga. In 1932, at the age of ten, Millo joined her sisters in Cuba's first all-female dance band "Anacoana" (photo below). She was the youngest in the family, but made a name for herself in a field previously denied to women.
Students have also been learning about some contemporary female drummers from Cuba such as Brenda Navarrete and Yissy Garcia. (hear them below) In addition to listening and learning, students have been playing. We hope to share their arrangements inspired by Millo's story using xylophones, glockenspiels, guiro, claves, and of course, DRUMS in the next few weeks.
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