Students Enjoy Learning Through Drumming

Students Enjoy Learning Through Drumming

    Exploring the visual and performing arts is a key component of the curriculum for students in the Mountain View School District.  Along with a comprehensive Visual and Performing Arts program across all grade levels, students are also exposed to additional instruction through a variety of programs provided by teaching artists.   Recently, students at Parkview and Maxson Schools welcomed Andrew Grueschow, a teaching artist from The Music Center who presented a workshop on drumming strategies, thanks to a grant from the Los Angeles County Office of Education. 

      The interactive training addressed all aspects of the state’s Visual and Performing Arts music standards, as the students gathered in a drumming circle to learn both simple and complex rhythm patterns using a boom whacker with a stick.  Working as a team, the students kept the rhythmic patterns through clapping, voice and drumming and had a great time making music together.   

      Rocio Centeno, a kindergarten teacher at Parkview School and member of the Teaching English Learners through the Arts (TELA) Committee, believes exposing children to music at a very young age is very important.

      “Music helps children develop their oral language, it helps them focus and when we dance or move with it, it helps them strengthen their eye-hand coordination,” said Centeno.   “I incorporate music throughout the day during my calendar time, in classroom transitions and during brain breaks.”

       Centeno appreciated Grueschow’s lesson which enhanced what her students were already doing in class in a very fun and engaging manner.

       “I liked how Mr. Grueschow told my students that we had to work as a team to perform the music,” said Centeno.  “I talk to my students a lot in class about the importance of teamwork to get our classroom goals accomplished and the drumming lesson reinforced that importance.”

      Grueschow also provided a "Drumming Strategies for Social-Emotional Learning" workshop for the District’s school counselors and counseling interns.  The interactive training touched upon social-emotional learning competencies and prepared the counselors and interns to lead small drum circle student groups at their school site. 

      According to George Schonborn, MVSD's Director of Pupil Personnel Services, a key part of social and emotional learning is the development of skills for managing emotions, maintaining healthy relationships, making responsible decisions, developing empathy and achieving goals, all which are essential to academic and life success.

     “Our counselors and interns will be able to utilize what they’ve learned from Mr. Grueschow to engage students in drumming circles which will help them build these skills and their social development as they actively listen, collaborate and communicate to make music.” 

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