Second-graders at Rollins Place Elementary School in Zachary embraced the music Nov. 19 during a visit from Dancing Drum founder Steve Campbell, of New Orleans.

Campbell, a professional musician, performer and educator, founded Dancing Drum in 2002 to educate, entertain and inspire people of all ages through interactive, percussion-based programs.

Dancing Drum combines music education with standards-based learning in a variety of subjects, including visual art, dance, social studies, history, reading, language, geography and character education, according to Campbell.

The multidisciplinary curriculum “Drumming Up Character” was presented to Zachary students, combining ensemble drumming, dancing, character rap songs and the performing arts.

In less than an hour, groups of second-grade classes learned a song, a dance and a rhythm, which they then performed for classmates and teachers.

Song lyrics embraced topics such as caring and fairness, and each student got to play a percussion instrument during their performance.

The youths learned and performed rhythms on djembe hand drums, kenkeni drums using tubestix, shakers and wood blocks.

Music teacher Melanie Alexander said some of the second-grade classes programmed a drumming monkey robot made from Legos to go with their performance.

“Drumming Up Character” fulfills state and national educational standards for learning through reading, writing and creative arts activities designed to build critical thinking skills.

Other Dancing Drum curriculum programs include “Jump in the Rhythm” and “Drumming Up World Music.”

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