Madison ES Drum Club Hits the Right Note for Fifth Graders
Calden Gutierrez tried out of the Drum Club at Madison Elementary School because he wanted to learn to play an instrument.
The club has taught him that and so much more, said the fifth grader. It has introduced him to new cultures, taught him the joy of performing and given him the opportunity to be a role model to younger students. “It’s really fun,” he said. “Even though we miss recess, it’s a chance to learn new stuff.”
Music teacher Caleb Miller launched the club, which has 15 members, in the fall as a way to engage some of the school’s fifth graders. He uses a lot of percussion in his lessons because he doesn’t have a music room and it’s easy for students to do in their classrooms. Kids often gravitate to percussion music because they can make music immediately, Miller said. “Many students are more comfortable with rhythm and percussion over singing,” he said. “It’s something kids can latch onto.”
Drum Club students have learned songs from every continent. Miller always gives them context for the music so they are learning a variety lessons. The club meets twice a week, during recess. “The kids enjoy it so much,” he said. “I wish we could meet more often.”
Students in the club have really stepped up as leaders in their regular music class and throughout the school, he said. “They take it seriously,” he said. “They’re very interested in music.”
Miller does a great job of engaging the students and making the club a well-rounded experience, said Principal Tricia Faulkner. The students have become role models to younger students in the building, she said.
“The possibility of joining Drum Club gives our younger students something to look forward to,” she said. “It’s been a great addition to our extra-curricular offerings.”