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The drumming program at Kindle Farm began in 1997. Todd Roach and Stuart Wright created the program with the hope of sharing some of their enthusiasm for the world of rhythm making. Both teachers had spent many years prior studying, listening and playing the modern drum set, Middle Eastern hand drums and African percussion.
It didn't take long to run into their first problem. It was hard to convince students that it was worth the time and effort that it took to learn these instruments. Since it was hard to produce sound without developing good technique, some of the students began to lose interest. Around that same time, Todd rented a copy of the Stomp Out Loud video. This is an explosive percussion performance by a group using everything from kitchen sinks, to trash cans and car keys. This was inspirational and led the two toward developing their drumming program, Speaking in Drums.
Eventually, using their respective traditional drum languages, they figured out how to combine the use of barrels and other found objects with a curriculum of games and exercises that helped the students to relax as they developed solid drumming skills, and created a positive group experience with their peers.
Over the last four years, students have worked with memorized compositions and improvisation. The drumming ensemble has performed in school functions, had a public appearance in Saxtons River Vermont, and was featured in a local New Hampshire publication, The River Record. In addition to playing, students have learned about the world of drumming through articles, videos and performances.
In the last four years, the drumming ensemble has taken trips to Boston and New York City, where they have seen Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk; Blue Man Group and STOMP. The upcoming school years promises to be exciting as music education continues to thrive at Kindle Farm!