This world drumming program is an entertaining, educational assembly showing the lessons one can learn about music, science, history, and world cultures by studying many types of drums as Dr. Woodson has done for over 40 years. He demonstrates, for example, a lion's roar, a drum that needs gum, a talking drum, an Arabic square drum that students can make with packing tape, rock drumming, hearing protection, and the very fast, buzz roll on a snare drum that got him interested in drumming in the fourth grade. The program shows many of the instruments that he wrote about in his Teacher's Guide, Roots of Rhythm.
The Percussion Marketing Council has funding support available for schools that would like to book this assembly in conjunction with an in-service program for teachers. Schools selecting this option will receive a $250 discount on the assembly, and the in-service for only a materials fee. The teacher workshop is available as a 60 minute or 90 minute in-service. The materials fees is $5.00 per person for the 60 minute workshop and $7.50 per person for the 90 minute workshop.
The Roots of Rhythm in-service is designed to give teachers tools to help students find connections in their own lives to children in other cultures through stories connected to drums, drumming and rhythms from around the world. A goal is to have teachers experience the value of studying world drumming and rhythms. Dr. Woodson models these rhythms including speech (African talking drum), layered (Asian gamelan), and human (Lakota heartbeat drum). This generates inquiry into the related arts of dance or visual arts. Cooperative learning results when teachers fit individual drum rhythms together within a particular ensemble tradition. Non-musical teachers learn to write rhythmic and tonal patterns in the fill-in box system.
Teachers learn about an individual country and culture then make and decorate age-appropriate instruments that represent idiophonic and/or membrane families, using simple tool and materials. Teachers receive Dr. Woodson's detailed instrument-making notes as a rubric for assessing the quality of work. Participants make instruments using these grade-appropriate steps, tools and materials that do not require special skills. Sound production comes from common items like plastic cups, coffee cans, wood, hoops, and packing tape. His Roots of Rhythm Teacher's Guide includes the cultural and historical context (VAPA 3.0) of each instrument, and its country of origin including its flag, geography, population, and climate.
Educators will reflect on how their in-service tasks of performing, composing and making instruments can connect to teaching other subjects such as art, math, science, social studies, or language arts. The combination of performing music, along with making an instrument and composing provides rich connections to many other disciplines. For example, the craft of instrument making explores both art and science. Measurements while tuning a xylophone form a lesson in mathematical relationships to nodes. Teachers learn that pushing air out of a box drum creates a partial vacuum, thereby reducing sound. Stories about the social context of 'talking drums' generate inquiry into language and cultural heritage.