Learning New Songs

When we want to learn a new song, Lori or I will type up the song on our computer and try to put it in the following format: (1) Title, (2) song originator, (3) teachings, (4) drum beats, and (5) Ojibway words spelled phonetically with the English translation, in brackets, in smaller print.  (One of our goals is to put the other songs that we’ve collected over the years in this format as well.)

We want to learn and share songs of healing that reflect the many diverse ways the Creator speaks to us and to be available for healing ceremonies or other spiritual gatherings. Some of the women were not comfortable in singing in a church, but that doesn’t bother us.  Three of us were born Catholic, but we’re Ojibway first. We want to share the spirit and teachings of the songs by singing at gatherings and community events where ever our drums and our spirits lead us.

We continue to participate in drumming circles in the community with the other women drummers and learn new songs that way too. We also have learned songs through tape recordings and through ceremonies.

We teach each other the songs that we know, and we take the initiative to write out the songs to share and learn together.  We practice as often as we can, and we try out new ideas, eg. harmonizing, echo, and try out new instruments or objects, eg. rattles, sticks, rocks, etc.