Reply To: African Drumming for Grades 2-6

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I have only 5 djembes and 5 tubanos that I purchased this year. I also use stackable buckets from Home Depot from around 2-3 dollars a piece. At the beginning of the year, I teach a poem with body percussion and then we take the body percussion to the buckets with rhythm sticks. Later in the year, we do a little drumming with the “fancy” drums. I have around 21-22 students in a class, so we do the cirlce method where after every third child plays their answer to my question (with other students echoing), we pass our drums to the next person clockwise. At first, it was kind of talkative during the passing and hard to get them back on task, but the next time we used the drums, I reminded about expectations and the fact that we’ll get to play more if they’re quiet during the passing time, and it was great. I’ve done this from 2nd-4th, and basically would ask them questions like, “what’s your name” that I would drum, and the students would drum back their name or their favorite food, subject, etc. Make sure that you discuss syllables with them first and give correct and incorrect examples. During the incorrect examples, I would have a student show or tell me the correct way to play instead. These beginning drum projects I found in Will Schmidt’s book “World Drumming”. My next step would be to have a set of simple quarter/eighth patterns on the board and have them choose one to drum, and finally have them create their own 4 beat pattern. I’m not sure how I would expand upon this currently, but I’m am taking my Orff Level 1 this summer so I hope to learn many different ways to use my instruments.
Happy to help!