MISSOULA – We headed over to Rattlesnake Elementary School for this week’s Arts and Education report where students are learning to move with the beat.
Drum Brothers members Tracey and Matthew have been teaching West African percussion and dance through drums to first grade students.
The day starts with Matthew and Tracey teaching the students about the drum, then each student gets their own, to practice different rhythms and beats.
Members from Drum Brothers have been visiting schools in Montana, Idaho, Washington, Alberta and British Columbia for over 20 years — teaching not only music and drumming technique, but several other lessons, that may not be as obvious.
“There are a lot of different elements that are very positive for children. One is just holding focus, learning how to hold a thought or musical thought,” said Matthew Marsolek with the Drum Brothers.
“There is also the part of group dynamics, how do we get along together, how do we make music together, how do we listen to one another, how do we focus on the right thing and how do we listen together. So there are so many different things you learn with this. ”
First grade teacher Kelsey Walsh uses art integration as a major part of her teaching method every day. So having the opportunity to work with SPARK Arts Missoula, and having people like Matthew and Tracey come into her classroom is something she does not take for granted.
“I think it is very important. It’s definitely one of the biggest things to me. I teach a lot of art history in my class, I do lots of different art projects with different styles of art, so it’s nice to have music as well,” Walsh said.
Click here to learn more about the Drum Brothers.