Arts Archive

Year 2 – The Blues and body percussion

Kendra Neilsen (Year 8)

Bring me a little water, Sylvie

Non-verbal communication is important. It is reported that up to 90% of our communication can be non-verbal through facial expressions, body language and posture. Living in an increasingly digital age, body language and visual media are used more and more to communicate ideas. Miss Winkler’s Year 2 class (2W) have been experimenting with using body percussion to help communicate a message. They have practiced and performed a piece to the song, Bring Me a Little Water, Sylvie. It was written in the early 20th Century by the blues singer, Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter. The song came from a time when Ledbetter was working on his farm and calling out to his wife, Sylvie, for a drink of water. Historians note that performing blues music was a way to teach people about life in the American South during the 1920s and 1930s. This song was recently adapted by singer and composer Moira Smiley to include body percussion.