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Dancing Drum News & Updates

July 06, 2023

August 15th Summer Teacher Training Intensive in Asheville, NC

Dancing Drum is presenting a Summer Teacher Training Intensive in Asheville on Monday August 15th, and we would like to invite you to attend for FREE! 
We are excited to connect with local music educators and share our tried-and-true methods for successful drumming in schools, activities that we have developed over the last 20 years of visiting hundreds of schools across the country with Dancing Drum.
This interactive training will be full of new drumming methods, activities, rhythms, and songs you can use for the 2022-23 school year! 
The workshop will run from 10:00am-3:00pm. Even if you cannot attend the entire training, you are still welcome to join us! Drums and percussion instruments will be provided for you to play. Handouts from the training will be available to take with you.
If you’re interested in attending, click this link to go to the teacher training page:

Check out our NEW BOOK for early childhood learners! "Drumming Numbers with Boom Ba Bee"

In this counting book for early childhood learners, we learn to count from ONE to TEN as Boom Ba Bee explores the world, meets friends, and finds a new rhythm at each stop.

Tap into the rhythm-language connection and drum along as we "say and play" our number rhythms with Boom Ba Bee!

View full article →

Great NEWS! cARTwheels + Dancing Drum

Great news! Dancing Drum has been selected as a Teaching Artist for cARTwheels, North Carolina Arts Council’s Arts in Education Grant Program!

This means that you can access funding through the NC Arts Council to bring Dancing Drum your school. There is a process for applying for funding. You can learn more at this link:

The application is open now, through March 1st, for programs beginning next fall.

Here is a link to Dancing Drum’s program listing. We are featuring a 3-day “Drumming Up Character” Workshop-to-Performance (W2P) program, materials included:

We are thrilled to be a part of North Carolina’s rich arts community and look forward to reaching more students across the state with our new partners at cARTwheels!

Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions about this opportunity. 

All the best,
Steve Campbell     &     Lindsay Rust
Musical Director            Managing & Artistic Director
November 05, 2022

Drum for Peace in Ukraine: November 13th in Asheville

Sunday, November 13th, 1-2pm
1 Edwin Pl, Asheville, NC (UUCA)

This event is a fundraiser for Doctors Without Borders, an organization doing so much to support Ukrainian people at this time. Donations of any amount are warmly welcome (though not required.) See flyer for additional details:

Drum for Peace in Ukraine

Summer 2022 Teacher Training Intensive Was a Hit!

On August 15th, Dancing Drum hosted 40 music teachers from across the state at our Summer Teacher Training Intensive in Asheville, North Carolina. It was a fun, music-packed day, and we shared a wide range of activities and resources to enrich PreK-8 music programs through hands-on drumming. Check out a video of the day below! 

If you’re interested in bringing a similar Professional Development program to your school district, just let us know! 


August 01, 2022

How Dancing Drum Connects to National Core Arts Standards

Though each state has its own educational standards for the arts, there is actually quite a bit of overlap with the National Core Arts Standards (link). No matter the art discipline - Dance, Music, Theater or Visual Art - students should be engaged in one of the four fundamental processes identified there: Creating, Presenting, Responding, and Connecting.

This blog post illustrates a few of the ways that ensemble drumming and Dancing Drum can actively address each of these focus areas.

Nothing says “I am!" more strongly than playing a drum. Playing together, students co-create music, rhythms, and an educational, social-emotional experience that differs from all other classes at school. In addition to participating in drumming as a class ensemble, students conceptualize their own rhythms and create them in live performance, using composing, patterning, language, sensory-motor and other developmental skills.

In a drum ensemble, each student is responsible for their part in the music. This requires focus and teamwork, as each student presents their best effort while contributing their rhythm. Students may also have roles in group leadership, improvisation, composition, practicing, performing, and teams, all of which call for developing presentation roles and abilities.

Drumming together fundamentally requires skills like listening and responding. Teaching tools that reinforce responding include activities like "Call & Response" (or echoing), rhythm “Sculpting", and leading unison and polyrhythmic arrangements in the classroom. Students who participate in drum ensembles also practice evaluating the group's performance and respond to their evaluations by making adjustments and improvements in technique.

Through drum ensemble, students connect via their shared experience of creating rhythm and music. The word “ensemble” translates to “together” in French. We “drum together” and feel more connected to our classmates and music from diverse places around the world. We learn about the many ways that rhythm is used in traditional and modern cultures. As we practice and play drums together, we experience the success of our teamwork, and we feel invigorated by the exciting act of playing drums!

Questions? Email us at

New Elementary Music PD Added: That Sounds Great! Elementary Drumming in 3/4 and 6/8

Bring the magic of drumming in 3/4 and 6/8 time signatures to your music classroom! In this highly interactive session, attendees will learn and play beginning to advanced drum rhythms designed for success and fun! Expand your student's drumming skills as they explore the fascinating world of 3/4 and 6/8! View full article →

What's In Stock? April 2022 Update

As the school year draws to a close, you might be curious to know...What is currently in stock? View full article →
May 14, 2021

Introducing: DRUM SAFE! Cleaner, Healthier, Better Drumming


In-person drumming workshops following the highest level of cleanliness can be extremely beneficial for students’ social, emotional, and musical well-being. We’ve always strived to keep our program safe and sanitized, but we’re moving to a whole new level of cleanliness to follow your school’s health guidelines and protocols. Here are the changes that we’ve implemented:

Our DRUM SAFE program model will utilize stick drums instead of hand drums. Students will play the drums in the Interactive Performance assembly, School Drum Day workshops, and Artist-in-Residency programs with a pair TubeStix that are easily cleaned and sanitized. Students will not play the drums with their hands, and we’ll have multiple sets of clean TubeStix to use, as needed. This approach will help us control the cleanliness of our instruments at all times.

We will follow your school district guidelines when setting up assembly or workshop group sizes. As each school district is creating its own policies regarding maximum class numbers allowed, let us know your school’s limits, and we can design a program that works best for your students.

Depending on your school’s safety parameters and size, we may suggest scheduling shorter workshops or assemblies to allow for more sessions and more student participation during the school day.

If your school requires that visitors, teachers, and students wear masks, we will follow your guidelines. We strongly recommend that all participants wash their hands before and after their drumming session.

If you have any questions about adapting our drumming programs to your school’s health and safety rules, please don’t hesitate to ask!

In case your school still cannot have in-person programs, Dancing Drum now offers Virtual Performance Assemblies on Zoom or other school-approved streaming platform. 

March 06, 2021

Happy Peace Corps Week!

As Peace Corps Week 2021 draws to a close, we invite you to learn more about the mission of Peace Corps and the experience that our Artistic and Managing Director, Lindsay Rust, had while serving as a PC Volunteer in West Africa. Read on for more from Lindsay!

Happy Peace Corps week! I was fortunate to to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Niger, West Africa, from 1996-98. As the PC motto says, "It's the toughest job you'll ever love." This really sums up my experience there.
The greatest part of those rich and challenging years was by far the amazing people that I met and worked with in my host village, Larba Birno, and later in the capital city, Niamey, when I worked with the batik artists and silversmiths at the National Museum.

"Kala suuru" (have patience) was something I heard almost every day, as I learned to speak the local language (Songhai-Zarma), hitchhiked and waited hours for bush taxis, got sick, lonely, and frustrated by the intense challenges that every day would bring. I have so many funny and horrible stories from that time that I could fill a book. The lessons of "kala suuru" have served me well during this time of COVID.

In Larba Birno, I served as an Agro-forester and Community Service Volunteer. Once I got my mind around that amorphous job description and learned to speak the language (which took about a year), I was able to work with my Nigerien counterparts to create some projects to benefit the village. I worked with the local women to start a women's cooperative that met weekly, paid dues into their own "bank", and made loans that were paid back with interest by the members. We also started cold-season gardens along the Sirba River. I worked with the Construction Sans Bois masons to get tools and training for them to build more beautiful, domed houses without using wood. I worked with gardeners to train them in fruit tree grafting (mangos and citrus).

Years later, I returned to see that some of the mango trees that we planted had grown larger than a house and were filled with mangoes! I learned so much about farming and gardening from my Nigerien friends, and have always been amazed at how they can extract food from a hot, dry, and very unforgiving landscape.

Maybe the thing I'm most proud of today is how I've been able to address Peace Corp's "Third Goal" since returning home to the US. The mission of the Peace Corps is to promote world peace and friendship by fulfilling three goals: 1) to help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women; 2) to help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served; and 3) to help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

Your in-country service ends, but the "3rd Goal" never really does. I've written a book for music teachers that includes music and culture from Niger and worked with Steve Campbell to train them in the Takamba. I also had the amazing opportunity to bring Nigerien Afropop group, Mamar Kassey, on tour through world music festivals across the US (pre-9/11). I hope we can do that someday again. I'm still in touch with my silversmith friends at the National Museum and sell some of their Agadez crosses on my website. I try to keep my Zarma skills up by talking with friends on the phone, but they are fading and "ay dine ga tin" (my tongue is heavy) now.

Maybe someday I'll rejoin the Peace Corps. It really was the toughest job I ever loved. To all my RPCV friends, I salute your service and always look forward to reading your stories!

Lindsay Rust
Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV)
Niger, 1996-'98

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