Drums pound out a positive message for students

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Fifth graders at East Central Upper Elementary School in Jackson County were making a lot of noise Thursday, but that was okay. The program called Dancing Drum paid a visit to the school with a special lesson plan for every student.

Kids and drums go together like peanut butter and jelly.  But the pounding contained a special message, respect for each another. The magical sound also teaches something else.

Steve Campbell is the musical director for Dancing Drum.

"One of the biggest things we focus on is teamwork. Because you see all the drums we have back here, it takes a lot of people to play the rhythms together. And to play them to make them sound good, we have to work as a team so teamwork is a big thing," Campbell explained.

The students can't wait to bang out a tune. Neither can the reporter covering this story. Even though this class is fun, the kids took in the deeper meaning.

"I learned to treat other people as you want to be treated and just have respect for other people," said student Mollie Harvey.

Another student, Samuel Henderson, said, "I think it's a very awesome program because it teaches kids about respect and it lets them play the drums."

"I love music and I thought this was a really fun experience for everyone," said student Chloe Nobles. "I learned I really liked the drums."

Even though the Dancing Drum duo performs this show dozens of times a year, all across the country, it never gets old to them simple because of the reaction of the kids. Lindsay Rust is part of the team.

"It's almost like throwing a pebble into a pond and all the ripples radiate out. You're not sure where they are actually going to end up but I think the net effect is positive. We're teaching kids about respect and responsibility and fairness and trustworthiness," Rust said.

The highlight of the day came when the 5th graders performed a drum concert for the younger students, with a performance for parents later this evening.

Learn more about the program at: http://www.dancingdrum.com/

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