Friday, August 22, 2014

Drum Fun for Everyone!

Can I just say how much I love drums? 

I was a drummer in school and I miss it like crazy. Also, I know almost every single child in the world loves to bang on a drum. Not only is it fun, but it's a great way to learn beat, rhythm, tempo, dynamics - you name it! I've been somewhat wary of teaching drumming because I didn't have that many resources or knowledge about it. I took the plunge last year and started using non-pitched percussion a lot more. I also brought in some bucket drums from the farm (thanks Mom & Dad!) and used them with the students. It's extremely loud, but a definitely a good time.

Then, this summer I went to the amazing Artie & Denise Music Symposium (I know, I know...I've mentioned this about 7 times now - sorry, but it rocked). Artie did an entire session on Drum Fun. I was completely sold! She showed simple activities that didn't require anything but rhymes and counting. There were also some with powerpoints, famous tunes and small groups. I came to school the next week and sorted through my drum collection. 

Here's what I had:
  • 2 large congas
  • 2 small congas
  • 11 large/medium hand drums
  • 2 small hand drums
  • 3 large sound shapes
  • 7 medium sound shapes
  • 5 small sound shapes

So, not the best collection, but hey, it will work! I ended up having enough for the students to be able to rotate through in small groups. We started the school year with a play-along Artie created for the hit song "Happy." Here's a preview of it - I don't have permission to show you all of it. Please contact Artie on her website for more information.

I also received an amazing set of gifts from the redditgifts Teacher exchange. I was very skeptical about this because there are so many needs in the world of education. Still, I signed up and created a wishlist on Amazon. Thankfully, everyone who signed up to be matched was and should receive a gift. Mine has already arrived! I am so blessed and grateful to Camden from Washington D.C. This person sent so many wonderful items to my classroom, totaling around $100. WOW is all I can say.

I received two wonderful books, a rain stick, a train whistle and a brand new floor tom! The next day, I received some Music Genres posters and apparently, there's still stuff on the way. So awesome - anyways, back to drumming. YES, I received another drum!!!!!! The kids were so excited to see it out, all shiny and new. This will give us another fun instrument in our rotation.

Also, my project was just funded this morning. YAY! Here are the drums that will be coming to our school in the next few weeks:
  • 2 floor toms
  • 1 gathering drum
  • 3 large lollipop drums
  • 2 small lollipop drums
  • 1 medium conga

This is definitely enough for my students to start exploring the world of drumming. I am no expert by any means, so I hope to take some sort of class or workshop in the future to learn more. In the meantime, I will be diving into some Pinterest lessons I discovered and following the advice from my workshop. Here's something I'd love to teach the kids this year:

What are your thoughts on drumming? Do you have the materials you'd like or do you teach something different?

1 comment:

  1. I was lucky in that the music teacher before me really stocked up on instruments, but my classes were so large that I almost always had to rotate using groups. My students played a lot of drums along with a variety of other percussion instruments. The rotations usually were a good thing, because the students had experience on a variety of instruments and could see the connections in both how to play them and what exactly made them part of the percussion family :)