After our school workshop where we made our drums, it was time for the Seattle World Percussion Festival. What could I do but go? I took my brand-new djembe with me as well as several percussion toys.
Let me say that I am an art teacher but also teach in juvenile corrections, where I use drum circles to teach rhythm, cooperation and many other skills (see my blog on drumming and the academic core for ideas).
I came away with many ideas for teaching rhythm, but so much more! The main learning was various ways to be more and more aware of subtle student feedback in the learning process. The teachers were masters at layering instructional levels so that the advanced students could progress at their level, while the middling students (like me) could finesse their skills, and the beginners could take on something wonderful and new–and have success.
That’s what we face every day, isn’t it? No matter your subject, you face a roomful of kids of varying levels. In art, for example, some kids take clay in their hands like they were born to it, and every piece comes out gorgeous. When we do a painting next, they struggle uphill. It’s just the nature of education.
I was humbled and astonished by the excellent teaching for this kind of thing. Happy me: Seattle World Percussion Festival!