Join this playful, high-energy celebration of rhythm... Gina Ferrera guides students and audiences through an exploration of sound, facilitating hands-on experiences that go deeper into the power of poly rhythm and true listening that utilizes body percussion and singing in group.
“Gina’s ability to share her knowledge and expertise with the students, her energy and love for her music, and her positive attitude all added together for a great week.” (Leon Enneking, Music Educator- Batesville Middle School, IN)
“Gina Ferrera takes us on a trip with the sound of the West African xylophone, called the gyil. She teaches the children about sound, rhythms and melodies. Gina knows how to play serene music as well as energetic melodies with the gyil. She is both a talented musician and a skilled teacher of the young child” (Take My Hand School)
" Your music, way with the kids, and passion for African drumming and culture was awesome and made your visit really meaningful for everyone!" (Jill Markovitz, Fairmount Art Center, Director)
“Gina is undoubtedly one of the most passionate and motivated people I have known. She is diligent in all she does, she is wonderful with people, especially children, and she has a charm and charisma that can light up a room”. (J. Hinson)
“I was continually impressed with Gina’s talent, enthusiasm and wealth of creativity that she brought to our children through her music program”. (B.L. Gambaro, The Community Schools of Nutley)
“Gina has the ability to appeal to children of all ages and work in a hands-on teaching style so we would see all the kids and parents totally engrossed in what she was doing”. (Jackie DeLombard, Beginnings Learning Center)
“Gina Ferrera has a strong enthusiasm and respect for the cultural aspect of the music and has been an excellent student and ensemble member. She has the potential to excel as a performer, educator and currently plays an integral role in the world music community here in Philadelphia”. (Dan Gorlin, Alokli West African Dance Ensemble).
In the process of creating music, I try to invoke this connection to my students: "That traditional African music and all folkloric/cultural/ancient music acts as a model symbolically serves the people of the community, reinforcing myth, history, and social values". What I find most inspiring about African music is the idea of “collective-awareness” or "individual-togetherness". Human beings long for connection, and our sense of usefulness derives from the feeling of connectedness. Music is an expression of this. When we feel connected to our purpose and to the environment around us, we are more useful to the community. My work enacts the model of traditional music making; each individual person (or each musical voice/drum/part) is connected to one another, to the overall music or polyrhythmic ensemble and its effectiveness to serve the community as a whole. I teach my students to draw connections between arts-integrated experiences and life experiences, developing communication skills, identifying with society and opening their awareness. I hope to share a forum for understanding other culture’s evolution and the importance of the present moment. I am committed to principles of love, compassion, justice and service to others. My goals are to engage the children to explore the transformative power of the arts, offer hope and awaken creativity. Together we build "an experience"... "a free space" for exploration. Students make their own connections between artistic endeavor and life principles, as we utilize music as a tool that reflects hope and leads each person to their own inner character development. I love to perform, teach and share music as a celebration of life. May we all be inspired and inspire for greatness and a life... "extraordinary"! (-Gina Ferrera).