Village Rhythms

Together We Celebrate Life!

Arts and Culture Classroom Programs

Leadership &Youth Team Building 
Through Life-Rhythms
Program Type: Workshop
Grades: 6-12

Description: Sited at a school or public facility, the program is offered after-school or weekends as appropriate for middle and high school-aged youths. Boys and girls learn first-hand fundamentals of rhythms and drumming. In the process they learn valuable life skills such as respect for different cultures, ability to cooperate and feeling comfortable working in a group toward a common goal. The program provides a safe place where youth can discover a deep sense of quietness and focus, channel strong emotions appropriately, and express themselves freely. Some participants are inspired to make drumming a life-long hobby that gives them a popularly acceptable, non-violent, positive group activity. Team-Building Through Drumming becomes a metaphor for the transitions through which each young person will inevitably pass.

In various forms, Onye's program has been presented in hundreds of schools and organizations, including locally, Santa Rosa Park and Recreation (seven schools), Santa Rosa High School, Boys and Girls Club Petaluma, California Children's Care Services, Santa Rosa(4C'S), COTS Petaluma, California Academy of Sciences, Sonoma State University, Memorial Hospital, Sutter Health Center, Kaiser Permanente and Institute of Noetic Sciences, Petaluma.

Participants will be invited to write about their experience at the end of the program. Teachers and parents will be asked to comment on changes they notice in the students.

African Culture Lecture/Demonstration
Onye shares stories and explanations of traditional Nigerian village life relating to students' modern life. Appropriate for geography, history, social studies and cultural awareness classes.

Educational Experiences in Traditional Culture and the Arts (3 class series)
1) Fundamentals of Drumming and Dancing
Students are introduced to traditional African culture through music, dance and stories of village life. They learn to apply these lessons to creativity, self-expression and quality of life.
2) Rhythm of Leadership
Students learn to relate their experience to body awareness, communications and team building skills. The traditional discipline is used to focus the mind for accomplishing goals.
3) Traditional Wisdom for Life Decisions
Students demonstrate what they have learned and how they can integrate it into their own lives. We discuss cooperative village values, coming of age and being part of a larger community.

Specialty Arts Programs
From Onye's years of experience as a musician, performer, recording artist and choreographer he offers dedicated classes in drumming, dance and mask-making for school arts programs. Intensive drumming sessions and choreography at the high school and college level are available. He is on the roster of Professional Artists in the Schools, Monterey Arts Council, Young Audiences of San Jose and Massachusetts Performing Arts Student Series.

Matching funds available for schools in the Tri-cities of Fremont, Newark and Union City, California.
Click Here.

Many organizations fund these events via PTA, grants, community sponsors, libraries and budgets for diversity and African-American History Month. Foundations: Arts Council of Sonoma County (501.3.c) can act as fiscal agent for grants to Village Rhythms.

What educators say:

It is with great pleasure that I recommend Onye Onyemaechi's African Village Celebration for your school... With his drums and trunk full of West African culture he brought us back to a feeling of community... Wisdom, love, respect, relaxation and celebration were all qualities experienced by our school during this exceptional program.
Nancy C. Mannion, The Discovery Center School, San Francisco, CA

Onye teaches about African culture through the use of dance, music and costumes. He has a magical way of getting an entire high school actively participating with him during the performance. Onye's philosophy emphasizes sound values, respect for others, and the "celebration of life." Onye's assembly positively affected more students and faculty than any other performer we have had here. J. Ross Thayer, Dir. of Student Activities, R. L. Stevenson School, Pebble Beach, CA.

His ability to tailor his program to the audience is impressive... By the close of the program, every student had played at least one African musical instrument, participated in tribal dances and chants, tried on costumes and meditated with Onye. Even the teachers(!) performed. I believe he would be equally successful with elementary, middle school and high school students. Patricia E. Crone, Head of Village School, Pacific Palisades, CA.

February held some significant events that brought our school village together."Together We Celebrate life", was the resounding message that Onye Onyemaechi brought to the Westlake Elementary village. The drums, dance, and community feeling that Onye provided in his assemblies was palpable. It was especially enjoyable to watch teachers and students participating together while enjoying each other's membership in our school village. Clyde Curley, Principal

Dear Onye,
Thanks for coming to our classroom , listening playing from the heart,

Your friend, Savanah, age 7

Contact Onye to bring his motivational assembly to your school: 707-528-4458.

Two-page full-color Educational Programs Brochure

Participatory Programs Flyer