Rhythm is Life

Rhythm from the Greek, rhythmos - measured flow or movement.

Drumming can be enjoyed by everyone and unites all cultures and age groups across the world. Research now reveals that there are numerous benefits of drumming and participating in communal drumming activities. Studies indicate that there are therapeutic effects, that drumming accelerates physical healing and boosts the immune system. Music therapy and mental health experiments have shown that drumming reduces tension, anxiety and stress, it helps in the control of chronic pain, it boosts the immune system and releases negative feelings, blockages and emotional trauma. Consequently, drumming has an effect on the quality of life for people. By inducing deep relaxation it lowers blood pressure, produces feelings of wellbeing, reduces stress and can release emotional trauma. It is also suggested that drumming can lead to greater cognitive functioning. Current medical research shows that stress contributes to nearly all diseases and is a primary cause of illnesses such as heart attacks, strokes and immune system failure. Furthermore, chronic pain has a gradual draining effect on the quality of life. Studies have demonstrated that drumming can help to control pain by promoting the production of endorphins and endogenous opiates, morphine like painkillers found naturally in the body. Drumming has also been associated with what is known as the ‘community effects’. Drum circles provide an opportunity for participants to feel connected with others and gain a sense of collaborative support. Specific studies show that drumming can create a sense of direction and connectedness with others and that the benefits to this connected feeling include alleviating self-centeredness, isolation and alienation, especially those in similar situations. It has been suggested that a drum circle provides an opportunity to connect at a spiritual level therefore enabling an experience and resonation with the natural rhythms of life providing a channel for individual self-fulfilment.

Our story

The SAM was established in 2014 by Gift Amu-Logotse (Chief Amu) and Adam Armit (the directors) and is based in Glasgow, Scotland. Amu and Adam met nearly 20 years ago when they developed and delivered an HNC in African Percussion in an Edinburgh college. Unfortunately, this course ran for only 1 year. Undeterred, they continued work together, mainly on small projects and plotted to set up their own music course. Now, many years later, the SAM is the born something both directors feel very proud to have achieved.

The SAM currently provides a range of African percussion music programmes to school children and community groups as well as short teacher training courses. In August 2017 the SAM secured Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) approval to offer the HNC in Music. Learners should begin studies of the HNC Music in mid October 2017.

Amu and Adam have plans to offer other SQA qualifications in the future so watch this space!

Meet the team

Gift Amu-Logotse
Amu is a founder/director of The School of African Music (SAM), founder of The African Arts Centre (TAAC), founder/chairman of the Friends of Wumenu Charity and a director of Amus Cultural Arts Services UK. He is a freelance storyteller at the Scottish Storytelling Centre and Scottish Book Trust. Amu was the founder/director of Amu’s Cultural Arts Services in Ghana from 2003 to 2011.
Amu has taught and assessed music at college and university level. He was a visiting lecturer in various schools and community groups and Creative and Performing Arts Tutor at Stonebridge Joint Neighborhood Mentoring Project.
As well as the current projects above Amu is a freelance Creative and Performing Artist across the UK.

Adam Armit
Adam is a founder/director of The School of African Music (SAM), director of Komic Brew (comics/graphic novels), director of Circular Records Circular Music. Adam has been an External Verifier with SQA since 2005. With his wife, Adam set up and was a director of children's nursery, Nursery Abacus Nursery Ltd.
Adam has taught and assessed music at college level over a number of years, he set-up the first college-based pop and rock music course in Scotland and was a music mentor on a music business apprenticeship. He has advised and been a consultant to SQA, Perth UHI and Shetland Island Council. He has been member of numerous qualification design and support teams, validation panels and has written unit specifications for SCQF levels 6-9 across Music and Music Business. Adam was also a member of the Scottish Parliamentary Cross Party Group for Contemporary Music.

Derek Doyle
Derek has taught and assessed music and sound production at college level over a number of years at both NQ and HN level. He is currently a visiting lecturer at the National Piping Centre on HNC Music (Industry-related mandatory units) and also a board member of the Erskine Music & Media Studio. He has been member of numerous qualification design and support teams, validation panels and has written unit specifications for SCQF levels 6-9 across Music, Music Business, Sound Production, Creative Industries and Music Teaching. Derek was also a member of the Scottish Parliamentary Cross Party Group for Contemporary Music.
Derek previously worked in sales for one of Scotland’s leading recorded media companies as well as a leading music retail outlet.

What we do

The Sam is, first and foremost, a private music education provider with a focus on African music and culture. We are extremely proud to be an SQA approved centre offering the HNC in Music (African Music Studies). We do however offer other courses such as British citizenship courses to those wishing to develop an understanding of the UK as well as areas such as food hygiene.

Our beliefs
The SAM logo includes a red symbol, the Ananse Ntontan (a-NAN-Si N-ton-TAN) “spider’s web”; it is an African Adinkra character that represents wisdom, creativity, and the complexities of life. Ananse, the spider, is a well-known character in African folktales.

The Ananse Ntontan symbol embodies the SAM philosophy – ‘to help people of all ages learn, develop and grow through music’. As a equal opportunities, transparent organisation, the SAM respects others and provides an environment in which everyone will, through study and experience, realise personal potential and develop the competences, especially those required of a musician. We seek to provide a variety of experiences for our community and members that support our commitment to lifelong learning.
We will:

  • Promote the musical traditions and culture of the African continent
  • Inspire and motivate
  • Develop creativity
  • Develop knowledge and skills
  • Develop confidence
  • Develop leadership skills through empowerment