It was such a great experience for the students to work together in a supportive environment. They have been able to see the positive benefits of working together as a class to create music. Even students who have not had a lot of experience with music were engaged in the activities and participating enthusiastically in the workshop. Thank you for providing this opportunity, as it shows students how exciting drumming can be. As you can see from the comments, the students thought you were awesome! I would recommend Drum Up Big to schools and music teachers to provide students with the opportunity to create music in a supportive and uplifting atmosphere.
Belinda Worthy, St Therese’s Primary School, Cairns
Thanks enormously to you and Alex for your input and enthusiasm with the girls at Peace Lutheran College. The feedback was really positive and many said it was the most enjoyable part of the BRITA (Building Resilience in Transcultural Australians) program.
Youth Worker, Migrant Settlement Services
Tara Tucker is a great teacher. She gives instructions in stages so that success is built in for the students, with the experience evolving from simple to complex. The sense of students achievement and competency is very high.
She gives the students background to the djembe drum, how it is made, where and when it is used and how. She builds understanding of African culture, the context of the Djembe drum and positive role models associated with African culture.
The process that we saw her use was to introduce and demonstrate the drum first and then to start instruction using verbal and visual cues to help students understand the sounds and rhythm they should be creating. She created a supportive atmosphere for learning by helping individuals and then, after they had practised a little as a group, giving them the opportunity to demonstrate individually, thus building confidence and competence.
She used turn taking & call-response activities, to focus the students listening, and she constantly focussed students attention on the idea of working together to create a cohesive sound. We saw the African migrant students connecting to their African cultural heritage. As educators we saw the students using the following skills:
- Listening and responding appropriately on cue
- Focussing attention and engagement for an hour
- Making a commitment to working together as a group
- Understanding and respecting African cultural heritage.We would recommend this Drum circle activity to all schools, for the following purposes:
- To increase self confidence and sense of competence,
- As a safe activity for children who need explicit teaching opportunities in Social and Emotional Learning
- As a physical opportunity to work in a positive way with aggressive children needing SEL instruction,
- To increase respect for African cultural heritage and to improve the status of Children of African culture in the school,
- To bring understanding and acceptance of cultural differences.
Peta Weaver – Music Teacher & Helen Barker – ESL teacher
St Francis Xavier’s School, Cairns
Thank you so much for including Bamagau Kazil (OSHC and Youth centres) in your visits this year. As was obvious today, the children are always so excited to see you and they look forward to participating in the program enormously. It’s also wonderful to see them actively listening, following instructions, working as a whole group and being encouraged to move to the beat and to play music as well. The children tlk about it and emulate it long after you have gone. I sincerely hope you will be able to visit again in the new year.
Kylie Mulcahy, Services Manager, Bamagau Kazil, NPA
The Drum Up Big workshops were a big hit with the participants at the Napranum PCYC. Being new and exciting as well as fast paced and interactive it kept the participants engaged for the whole session and begging for more! Tara and Alex were well prepared and organised. They were able to engage the kids with the drums and music and encourage them to make their own music and entertainment.
This program was fantastic and we would love to have them back!
Shae Ailley, Napranum PCYC
They really enjoyed the drums. We were singing our own cultural songs. Using the drums was good. We taught Tara and Alex our song.
Edith David, Injinoo Child Care Centre
Having the Drum Up Big team at the youth centre was really great. It was a good experience to beat the drums. The youths looked as though they all enjoyed it, with each of them taking turns. Some of the youths even used the African drums as island drums. Everyone had fun!. The kids enjoyed the drum-making. They found it easier than we thought they would. They can use the drums to practise. They were concentrating so it kept them quiet. The girls made the first drum and the boys did the second one the next day. The girls taught the boys what they learnt. They were excited when we told them you were coming back!
Rochell Wasiu, Bamaga Youth Centre
Hi there Tara,
Thank you so much for your great work yesterday.
It really was such a highlight of the Youth Justice School’s Open Day.
Cairns Youth Justice Flexible Learning Program
Drum Up Big! What a fantastic experience you have offered the NPA community this week. The sessions were upbeat, flexible, engaging, fun, supportive and inclusive of needs, culture and interests.
Domestic Violence, abuse and aggression are very real issues in our community. It affects children, teens, women, men, the old and the young. The agencies in the community all use different strategies and techniques to engage and spread the message of “ no violence”. However your approach was different and the children responded beautifully to the beats and the dance. Your clever play on words had the children humming and gently singing your positive message.
The message not only signified the importance of being kind, It provided the children with a tool to manage their anger and aggression. I was inspired by the way that you were able to engage and positively address the issues of violence though music, dance and Zumba. It was a joy to be part of your visit hear and I hope to see you again soon in the NPA.
Intensive Family Support Worker
NPA Family and Community Services ATSIC Corporation