Saturday, February 27, 2010

Day 232: A Mother's Musical Hopes Dashed ... in the Best Possible Way

How to have the coolest three-and-a-half-year-old kid on the block: Bring her to an African drumming party on a Friday night. Do this on a regular basis, and she'll assume that life is just full of music. At 12, she'll tour internationally as the opening act for B. B. King.

But this is when a mother's musical aspirations can go horribly awry.

Last night, the Lindsays attended a "bonding party" for Khakatay, the African drumming ensemble at Bridgewater State College, hosted by the ensemble's director and music department chair Salil Sachdev. "Khakatay" means "laughing out loud," and I tell you, the name is apt. Playing traditional repertoire mainly from the West African countries of Guinea, Senegal, Mali, and the Ivory Coast, this group exemplifies joy in rhythm.

For this auspicious occasion, Mini Me (I really should be calling her "Completely Her") dressed in a Mrs. Claus dress and white Capezio tap shoes. As she stomped across the paved walkway to the front door, djembe in hand, I was very excited, thinking, "The rhythm's in her! Brilliant!" Thought she'd have a wonderful experience drumming with about ten fabulous coeds and get hooked.

But when we walked in, she lost the shoes, abandoned the drum, and spent the next four hours ignoring the music and rearranging the African figurines in said Department Chair's sitting room. One by one, each of the students approached her with her djembe, inviting her to join the drumming. As far as I can tell, they were rejected every time. No thank you, she really just wanted to run around the basement pole and hide the figurines under the couch cushions.

So.... maybe not a drummer. Yet. Right now, it's all about the figurines... but I did sneak a look every now and then, and noticed that her little head was bobbing as she was playing. And if she turns out to be half as terrific as any one of those students who were there last night—and I mean, as a person, not as a drummer—I'll be a very happy mom.

Do come see Khakatay, Bridgewater State College's African Drumming Ensemble on Thursday, April 29, at 8:00 pm in Horace Mann Auditorium at Bridgewater State College. The concert is part of the college's all-day World Music Festival. More information here.

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