::COMRADES IN THE COMMUNITY:: ASHA
By Christina Campbell
We were more than excited when all around music maven Asha Santee volunteered to be apart of our Comrades In The Community x Ascend through Music limited residency. Asha engaged the participants in a multitude of aspects of making and creating music. After brief introductions, Asha introduced participants to the basics of playing the drum set, breaking it down into simplifying it using "1-2-3-4".
Each youth got a chance to play on the set a couple of times, with Asha speaking on how it takes coordination to be a drummer, with each limb often doing something different. She then showed them her cajon, a different drum, speaking on it's history and giving participants a chance to play. From there the group organically began creating a rhythm, that then turned into a few rhymes that then sparked the group to produce a whole track. The participants in 30 minutes created rhythms, a melodic line, lyrics, and ad libs, which Asha facilitated and helped them input into Logic. By the end of the session, the group had created a catchy song, which they all were excited about.
The students really took to Asha, who had a great energy and a way of encouraging and exciting the participants. One young lady was a little familiar with playing drum set, and it was valuable for the young lady getting a chance to talk and connect with Asha. They had a long conversation about her aspirations and goals.
Another student, the youngest in the group, struggled with the coordination, and Asha was patient and encouraging, and when the student finally got it you could see his face light up. It was magic seeing how organically the youth ended up creating an entire song, and you could tell they felt really good about accomplishing the goal, and Asha was able to make that happen and make it sound really good. The kids felt so good, the energy in the room was so high, no one wanted to leave, it was a great session!
Here is also a little video that I threw together, featuring the song they produced, as well as video and photos I captured.