Students keep the beat as drummer visits Sippican

May 6, 2022

MARION — Sippican School sixth graders proved they’ve got the beat.

They drummed along with enthusiasm as percussionist Jesus Andujar visited the school Friday morning to share his talents with the students.

The experience allowed Andujar to teach the students about instruments often heard in his native Dominican Republic. 

Popular instruments there include the conga, a tall, narrow single-headed drum; a shekere, made from a dried gourd with beads woven into a netted covering; a tambora, a two-headed drum often used in merengue music; and bongos, a pair of open-bottomed hand drums.

After he talked about the instruments of his home country, he led the students in a brief performance. Using the metronome to keep a steady beat, he noted the importance of discipline in keeping time.

But as the lesson went on, he encouraged each student to have a moment within the overall drum performance to play their own style. Some students created a quiet beat while others drummed with palms seeming to fly.

Andujar said he often works with students, he said, to teach them about the music of Latin America. “It’s part of the culture, it reflects our culture,’’ he said. 

All ages have the same opportunity to listen and participate when Andujar offers a concert that same night _ Friday, May 6 _  from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Marion Arts Center,  80 Pleasant St., as part of the SouthCoast Spring Arts festival. 

“I like to involve people,’’ Andujar has said. “I share some drums, see if people like to join us and make a little jam with the people that are there.”