The Creative Beginnings music residency introduces young children to the basic language of African drumming using the djembe drum. Students learn and create simple patterns based on their everyday lives, including children’s literature, emotions and favorite foods. Drumming is a community experience which encourages students to listen to each other and respect others’ ideas. Arts Objectives:

  • Identify, move to, and play a steady beat
  • Learn to “say it and play it” with African drum language
  • Create simple rhythmic patterns
  • Use instrumentation to express emotion
  • Use drumming and instrumentation for storytelling.

Curriculum Connections:

  • Discovery and expression of emotions
  • Identifying syllables in words
  • Moving in space
  • Discovery and expression of favorites (food, place to go, relative)
  • Identify parts of the body.

Sample Student Activities:

  • Teach parts of drum and how to play good and pah sounds
  • Create pattern using child’s name
  • Move body to steady beat
  • Use drums and instruments to represent character
  • emotions
  • movement and setting in storytelling
  • Learn simple drum pattern and sing song while drumming.

Sample Professional Development Activities:

  • Create pattern using adult’s name, foods or other themes
  • Teach box notation system of documenting patterns
  • Create simple drum pattern for familiar song
  • Use instrumentation and movement to enhance familiar story,
  • Explore different vocal expressions and transferring them to the drums (whisper, speaking, loud voices, singing voices).





New Jersey NJ, Pennsylvania PA

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