Dancing Drum News & Updates

Online Learning with Dancing Drum: It’s exciting! It’s fun! It’s a new adventure for everyone!

Here at Dancing Drum, we’re making the best of things by using this time to develop new online learning opportunities for you and your students. We’re actually really excited about this and can’t wait to share with you! View full article →

New Article in NC Music Educator Journal: We Got the Beat!

We are pleased to announce the publication of a new article in the Summer 2019 edition of North Carolina Music Educator, titled "We Got the Beat: Bring Drumming into your Curriculum", by Dancing Drum's Musical Director, Mr. Steve Campbell. This article delves into the history and development of Dancing Drum, and philosophy behind our musical mission. Enjoy! View full article →

Upcoming Professional Development Conferences in IL and NC

We look forward to bringing Dancing Drum to state music education conferences in North Carolina and Illinois this school year! Here are a few more details about the hands-on, interactive sessions that will be led by our Musical Director, Mr. Steve... View full article →

How Drumming Can Improve School Culture & Educational Outcomes

Peeking through the door of the music classroom, drumming may appear to be a fun diversion, like recess or free play, however, while we're drumming, we're working across multiple levels of intelligence. The "fun" layer is the part that engages students and gets them to embrace the experience with enthusiasm. The deeper layers are about creating connections, not only to academic areas, but to each other and to our community of peers. Drumming can help fulfill a basic human need: community and connection. That's why we say that drumming creates happy students, and happy students create...

View full article →

Rhythmatize It! Drumming & Arts Integration

"Arts Integration" is a big movement in education these days, pushed to the forefront by great organizations like Turnaround Arts and The Kennedy Center. Fundamentally, the idea with arts integration is to utilize instruction in the arts - music, dance, theater, visual art - to connect with core academic subjects like language arts, math, and science. This approach has shown to be effective for many students, who can learn and explore core subjects more creatively, rather than learning by rote or more traditional forms of instruction. In effect, music (or visual art, or dance, or theatre) is the "hook" that gets kids engaged and more interested in succeeding at school.

Here at Dancing Drum, we've been focusing for many years on how to integrate core academics into our drumming programs. When we began Dancing Drum in California in 2002, virtually all music education had been cut from public schools. In effect, administrations had deemed music too unimportant for time or funding during the school day. This was a sad situation for many students. We felt that we needed core academic integration to justify our presence in the schools and developed curriculum materials to make connections between drumming and subjects like math, reading, social studies, and character education. Teachers, administrators, and students embraced our approach and we felt that it was a success!

Today, the idea of arts integration has gained more traction, as has the value of music education. More educators are talking about the value of music for music's sake, not just for the arts integration opportunities that it provides. There's also a robust and growing field of arts integration, with conferences and specialists devoted to sharing ideas and best practices, and research that shows its efficacy.

Earlier this summer, Dancing Drum was honored by an invitation to present at the Turnaround Arts Summer Institute at the Arlie Center in Virginia, a sprawling, historic farm and retreat center just a few miles from Washington DC. Our session, titled "Teach to the Beat! Enliven Classroom Instruction Through Rhythms & Chants", was attended by 30+ enthusiastic arts integration specialists from schools across the country, from Connecticut to Hawaii. During our hands-on session, we demonstrated the basics of leading drumming activities in the classroom, and led participants in their first experience of "rhythmatizing" a nonfiction text. This workshop focused on language arts, reading comprehension, and summarizing themes in an article about British scientist Jane Goodall, which we then turned into a rhythm and song on the drums. 

"Turnaround" schools are among the lowest performing schools in the country. Schools that adopt the "Turnaround Arts" model for school improvement are committed to bettering their schools through an intense regimen of arts integration. In the first three years of Turnaround Arts, they've produced impressive outcomes, like a 22.55% improvement in math proficiency and a 12.62% improvement in reading. Discipline and attendance statistics have also improved significantly, and it's inevitable that the energy at these schools has overwhelmingly shifted towards positive, uplifting, and happy, which couldn't be better for students and their learning outcomes.

Turnaround Arts Summer Institute 2015

Turnaround Arts Summer Institute

For more information on Turnaround Arts and their evaluation report, visit this link: http://turnaroundarts.pcah.gov/impact/

 

 

Dancing Drum Success Stories

We've heard some great feedback from music teachers about the successes that they've had using Dancing Drum materials in their classes. Have you used "Drumming Up Character" or "Drumming Up World Music" with your students? Do you have any success stories that you would like to share with the world? How have you implemented Dancing Drum in your school? How did your students react? Do you have "at risk" students or students with behavioral issues who exceeded all expectations during their Dancing Drum sessions? We would be happy to hear about your experiences! Please feel free to share them below.

Why so many kids can't sit still in school today, via Washington Post

Many educators agree that children aren't wired to sit still in class for hours each day. They need movement and play to develop their motor skills and actively engage in learning. We believe that focused, daily drumming sessions can help many students by providing a structured outlet for their abundant energy, and the energetic release of active drumming makes way for better attention during classroom STEM instruction time. What do you think? Can on-task drumming sessions improve a student's focus during academic study time? #wapo #washingtonpost
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/07/08/why-so-many-kids-cant-sit-still-in-school-today/?tid=pm_local_pop