It is time to share with our family and friends how we’ve shed our Mennonite propensity to sing standing still! We’ve exchanged it for the rich Tanzanian (if not African) desire to move when singing!
We were treated to a wonderful presentation on Tuesday by Dr. Mathayo Ndomondo, a University of Dar es Salaam music professor. He taught us about the varied indigenous musical traditions in Tanzania, with attention to the role music plays in various cultural groups (including initiation rites, communicating information, creating social solidarity, telling stories, etc.). In addition to the vast information we were presented with – Dr. Ndomondo’s pedagogy involved us “doing” music.
We “performed” the music which included call and response, repetition, and of course movement! Enjoy the video linked here to get a feel for the event. You will also notice two additional events on the video – the second section is from our visit to the Bagamoyo College of the Arts and the last section demonstrates the fun we had dancing with the students at the Nyantira Church Primary School.
In Tanzania music and dance are important ways of communicating, motivating, and creating a community. They are rarely done separately. It is almost always lively and inviting! We are learning to join the dance, the dance of our lives that we were each called to do.
– Dancing Ryan (it is true, I did!) for the team