Late last year I tweeted that I wanted to see at least one copy of the book ‘Where Are All the Instruments? West Africa’ in all primary schools in West Midlands county.
Following on from many conversations we have had in music education over the past 2 years in particular, I thought it wise to begin to take more action by setting this ambitious goal.
The whole point of this is not only to increase the visibility of instruments from West Africa, but the diversity of books about music in primary settings (ask yourself, how many music books written by a person of colour do you have in your school library?!). From my research, I’ve been able to find one other book accessible for primary-aged children which introduces them to instruments from Africa which many of you may already be aware of.
It’s about giving options to our children, allowing them the freedom to see a book about instruments that they may not be familiar with, and letting them explore. Whether or not the book is read out in class or you use the interactive map and accompanying videos, if children do not have the option to explore and see this particular part of the world represented in ways that they may not often see, the reality is, they may not get it anywhere else during their primary education. As many EYFS and primary educators have written, these years are crucial in helping children to form positive ideas about the world around them, and themselves.
You can help in making this dream a reality by:
Getting a copy via the website www.thewhybooks.co.uk or Amazon, and letting us know the school(s) they're going to.
Donating to our PayPal, which will allow us to donate copies to a school/schools on your behalf. For every £10 donated, we can donate 2 books.
Sharing on socials - the more people who know about this, the better! Use the hashtag #WestmeetsWest
Contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get discounted rates for multiple copies.
Keep up to date with our progress with this spreadsheet #WestmeetsWest. It is open for you to comment on to let us know when a school has a copy. Once a school has a copy, they will be marked in green.
I’d also relish the opportunity to visit your school in person or online to do a reading and/or author Q&A if possible.
We will be giving away a few copies from time to time, so follow me on Twitter to be notified of any giveaways.
Thank you all who have supported my publications so far, and for understanding the vision -
To increase the ability of young people to learn about a variety of instruments and musicians from various places and times in earth's history.