Assignment: Education – Grant provides new drums for La Crosse elementary schools

If you listen closely, you can hear learning taking place outside North Woods International Elementary School.

Students are learning rhythm reading, which is a skill much different than learning pitch.

“They’re completely separate parts of your brain,” said North Woods International Elementary School music teacher Mandi Wolfgram. “And so if we’re teaching the whole child, we need to be teaching both of those parts.”

While learning how to read rhythm on cards is important, practicing rhythm on a drum can pound home the lesson.

“You don’t want to just talk about music,” said Wolfgram, “you want to do it. You want to play it.”

Wolfgram and the other elementary school music teachers in the district wrote a grant and received almost $5,000 to purchase 23 West African-style drums and repair a few old drums.

Now, every elementary school in the district has its own set.

“We want kids to be actively making music as much as possible,” said Wolfgram.

The drums purchased by the district are called Tubano drums.

They have three different sizes that produce different tones.

The drums were purchased with a grant from the La Crosse Public Education Foundation.

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