This field lab takes place at the University of Ghana in Legon, Ghana, where the highlight will be a drum and dance workshop held on the grounds of the university, led by Fred Tay and assisted by other local artists. This lab will also include a tour of the university, its Center for African Studies, and an overview of its important role in the preservation of local cultures and traditions in Ghana after independence. Ghana’s first president, Kwame Nukrumah, opened the Center shortly after independence as a way to institutionalize the study of local culture. He also instated a music requirement for all majors in the university to ensure that all students would have a basic understanding of how to perform some aspect of traditional music. Finally, he also helped create the Ghana Dance Ensemble, a state-funded performing arts troupe whose mission is to perform, celebrate, and preserve musical arts of some of Ghana’s largest ethnic groups. Because of these actions, the University of Ghana has been central in preserving Ghanaian music and culture in the post-independence era. Students will also have an opportunity to explore the university grounds and see how local college students live, study, and socialize. There will be a break for lunch on campus, which is an out-of-pocket expense. Drums will also be available for purchase from Fred, further details on this will be covered in class.
1. Applied instruction of Ghanaian drum and dance traditions
2. Tour the University of Ghana campus and experience a taste of college life in Ghana
3. Learn about the central role that the University and its Center for African studies has played in preserving Ghanaian performing arts