INTAKE Native Instrument Academy: Percussion Workshop with James Moss

Every Saturday morning, between the hours of 10-12PM, the INTAKE Native Instrument Academy takes place at Stamford’s Yerwood Center, as part as the ALTA Program from the Stamford Public Schools. In it, high school students from Stamford and Westhill High Schools learn to perform and appreciate classical music through the use of native instruments from a variety of cultures in diaspora. 

The students welcomed a percussion workshop with James Moss– a musician and instructor with over twenty-five years of experience. His workshop included having each student play a DJEMBE drum (from the African diaspora) and empowering the students through music. “Just imagine that you’re the world’s greatest drummer…” said Moss, as he encouraged each student to take the lead and improvise music from their inner selves. INTAKE students worked on traditional and easily recognized percussive rhythms such as the “2+3 and 3+2 clave “. Towards the end of this workshop, the students showed Moss their own native instruments from South America and they performed excerpts from Pachelbel’s Canon for him as way to reciprocate his musical generosity with them. A final thought from Moss, that stayed on a student’s mind was “…Through music, we are giving you some tools so when you go out there in life you can pay your rent or something…”. 
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