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Hands on drumming

By Staff | Nov 23, 2012

The echo reverberated throughout Wolford School.

The booms and shakes were followed by laughter.

The grade school students were getting a “hands on” drumming experience courtesy of Jeri Langemo, a presenter from the Minot Area Council of the Arts.

Langemo brought more than a dozen drums and a plethora of other percussion instruments to the school on Nov. 20 to help the kids explore music with the rhymes and rhythms.

“We do rhythm of the words and nursery rhymes, 1-2 buckle my shoe, different ways to play the words,” Langemo said. “A lot of rhythm of the words.”

But it wasn’t all music and speech. The kids learned about some of the mathematics behind rhythms and even learned some science, like the lesson of the vibrations made when you hit something like a drum.

Langemo, a grade-school teacher in Minot, first got interested in the possibilities of bringing drumming to students when she attended a conference in 1993.

“It was just so joyful, and I thought I’d like to get involved with something like that,” she said.

With music programs already established in Minot, she started small with four drums and has now grown the elementary program to include the dozens of items she brought to Wolford.

The program went with her when she moved from Lincoln School to Sunnyside School.

Langemo and other educators received generous donations from a national teaching organization after the Mouse River flood put them out of their homes in 2011.

She put the session up as a bid item at a statewide teachers’ convention over the summer and Wolford’s Wanda Follman bid on it, making the interactive presentation possible.

Langemo said the presentation was a chance to give back for the assistance she received when she was flooded.

“Wanda asked if I could do it for kindergarten through second grade,” Langemo said. “I asked her, ‘Don’t you have more kids than that?’ so it ended up being for the whole grade school.”

The students were able to direct the rhythm “choir” of students by bouncing balls and even using their feet.

“The part where I got to direct with the ball,” said sixth-grader Zach Morrow, when asked his favorite activity. “It was fun, I’d like to do it again.”

The experience is one that Langemo hopes to bring to more students statewide.

“That whole thing gets them to realize you can make the music and have fun,” she said.

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