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Baba's musical adventure

Key facts

  • Suitable for: Key Stage 1
  • Subjects: Understanding of the World, Citizenship, Music
  • Session type: Museum led
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Class size (maximum): 30
  • Venue: International Slavery Museum
  • Free


In this session children are introduced to a cheeky monkey Baba, who takes them on a musical adventure. Pupils find out what sounds African musical instruments make and discover what part of Africa they come from. They learn about their usages and the materials they are made from, in order to compare the instruments to those found in other parts of the world.

Sessions are available at 10.15am, 11.30am and 1.15pm on the following dates:

  • 12 and 13 January 2017
  • 9 and 10 February 2017
  • 8 and 9 March 2017
  • 24 and 25 May 2017
  • 28 and 29 June 2017
  • 12 and 13 July 2017

Further details

two girls with drums© Jenny Baptiste

In traditional African societies musical instruments are an integral part of most communities. They vary not only from country to country but also from village to village. However, there are common features in African music. It forms a big part of African life and has an important role to play in society. Songs are used for religious ceremonies, rituals, to teach, to tell stories and to mark the stages of life and death.

Under the guidance of the education demonstrator, students are given the chance to play these incredible instruments including a variety of African drums, shakers, a balaphone and a kora. They also get the opportunity to wear traditional African clothes. Students learn a variety of call and response rhythms and discover what they sound like when played together.

Curriculum links

Key Stage 1 – Music

  • Use their voices expressively
  • Play tuned and untuned instruments musically
  • Listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high quality live and recorded music experiment with, create, select
  •  Combine sounds using the inter-related dimensions of music

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

Pupils will:

  • Gain knowledge of a number of different African instruments.
  • Understand the use of natural materials to make these objects.
  • Gain knowledge and understanding of characteristic features of periods and societies of the past.
  • Understand how instruments can be used to communicate important information. 


Pupils will:

  • Learn a variety of call and response rhythms.
  • Improve their listening skills.
  • Learn how different sounds can work together to create music.


Pupils will be introduced to:

  • The significance of instruments in African societies.
  • Use of music for different occasions.
  • Being able to create music using natural resources.


Pupils will:

  • Be inspired the incredible instruments we have in our collections.
  • Be enthused by the richness of African culture.
  • See the International Slavery Museum as an enjoyable and creative place to visit.