Drumming for success

Grant Date
Grant Applicant
Kathy Muonio
Amount Funded
Description (10 points)

The objective of the drum project is to enhance the music classroom with large drums which are a very engaging and approachable instrument for children. Children immediately feel successful on these percussion instruments. The larger drums in particular have many benefits including working on the core strength of children. My interest in having these drums was sparked by seeing them implemented in the Washoe County Schools in the Sparks music classrooms I visited this summer. They are used daily by the regular music teachers in dynamic, engaging lessons. They are also used for special needs kids for both emotional and communicative therapies. (The music teacher has a part of his day dedicated specifically to this population of children.) I currently only have three very fragile small standing toy like drums that I use for a variety of rhythm lessons. I also have a few hand drums but these are difficult for smaller children to hold and play. These larger drums will also bring a stronger sense of community as the drum as historically been seen as the “community “ maker, bringing all the other percussion instruments together. Learning about and playing on these African drums would also be an opportunity for teaching about other cultures and World Music.

Benefits of Program (10 points)

These drums will benefit all the children in the KBE community K-4th. Kindergartners can feel immediately successful and 4th graders can build strong rhythm skills on these drums. I am especially interested, however, in providing a music program that meets the need of all children and particularly those children that might be challenged in a regular classroom setting because of emotional or social issues. Many research studies have shown that drumming is especially effective with children needing to express or process their feelings. See article link below.

Success of Program (10 points)

I would define success of the drums by the children’s interest in participating in rhythm lessons on the drum. I would also define success by the children’s prompt and accurate responses to rhythm cues from the drum (i.e. a leader plays a rhythm pattern on the drum and the other children echo on their hand held percussion instruments (maracas, woods blocks, etc). I believe the larger drums will offer a more audible and powerful medium for performing these daily rhythm activities (rather than just clapping, maraca, etc). I would also like to see my more challenged students feel successful and to see themselves as important members and leaders of the classroom community.

Implementation (10 points)

I would like to implement the drums into our music curriculum this year. After purchasing the drums, I would be the first role model of how to use the drums. I would use the drums to bring together our percussion circles. Then I would incorporate the drums into our percussion circles, allowing children to take turns on the drum just as we pass around our other percussion instruments in our percussion circles. Children would have the chance to be the leaders of the percussion circles as they played on the larger drums. It’s important to me that these durable drums would be used on a daily basis and not stored in the closet for a “special occasion”. They would be left in an accessible location where children could readily access them. I would also incorporate them on a daily basis for students who need to expend excessive energy (ie having them play an introduction and/or ending for a song we may be singing, or having them play the “clean up” rhythm)

This grant would not need additional funding.
Can you share this grant with your grade level or subject team?

This grant would benefit all grade levels at KBE.

Budget (10 points)
Amount Requested
Budget Notes

Here is a link to the drums that I want to order.   http://www.westmusic.com//p/remo-versa-dp-vs13-aa-drum-sample-package-204479

Versa Timbau: 25.75” Tall x 13” Diameter  TF15 Medium Pitch Head

Versa Djembe: 23.5” Tall x13” Diameter  TF10 High Pitch Head

Versa Tubano: 24.5” Tall x 13” Diameter  TF20 Low Pitch Head

West Music was recommended by teachers in the Sparks school as the best place to purchase drums.

Other funding sources

Although some funds are allotted for music, they are mostly to maintain and replace current instruments.


Please see attached link for research on benefits of drumming for special needs children. Although the article refers to "special needs" children. The benefits of drumming have been also firmly documented for all children and adults.