Drums for All: A Music Program for Students with Disabilities

Drums for All: A Music Program for Students with Disabilities

Beverly guides students with disabilities in a hands-on music journey, with drums from Africa and Latin America and percussion colors from around the globe. Students learn skills of teamwork, listening, creativity and self-expression as they create music together in ensemble. Using the rhythm of words participants will learn some of the building blocks of music: steady beat, groove, call and response, dynamics and improvisation. Students and teachers learn about instruments they can make from recycled materials, connecting to the environment, science and math. “Drums for All” has a cultural arts theme; exploring diversity and global connections and integrates ELA stories and text, building fluency and literacy skills through movement and song. This program is designed to accommodate students with a wide range of physical, intellectual and emotional disabilities; including students with language delays, sensory sensitivities, autism, visual impairments and students who are deaf/hard of hearing. Modifications can include alternate choices of percussion instruments and hand-over-hand drumming. In a required planning meeting prior to the workshop, teachers share specifics of student challenges, suggested strategies and desired goals.

Artist Background

Beverly Botsford is a cross-cultural percussionist, blending music, movement, and spoken word in solo and ensemble presentations. Embracing drumming traditions of Africa, Cuba, South America and her native North Carolina, Beverly weaves colorful rhythmic tapestries with her infinite array of collected and homemade instruments. Her decades of experience include work with the African American Dance Ensemble, American Dance Festival, as well as sharing passion for rhythm and culture in thousands of school and community residencies, performances and workshops. Beverly has played on three Grammy nominated recordings and brings deep global experience, touring with jazz vocalist, Nnenna Freelon in major venues around the world. The language of music is universal.

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