Strum & Drum

New Sounds in the Halls of Sonoma Elementary School
Posted on 04/19/2023

If you walk the halls of Sonoma Elementary School in Harper Creek, you are likely to hear some new sounds coming from classrooms during Integrated Arts.  Thanks to a grant coordinated by the Calhoun ISD and funded by the Guido A. and Elizabeth H. Binda Foundation, Integrated Arts Teacher Amy Rios was able to implement a new program into the curriculum.  “Strum and Drum” is what she calls it, and students at Sonoma are getting an opportunity to explore and interact with instruments they wouldn’t traditionally see in their elementary music experience.  “Student’s interests are constantly changing and evolving.  During Covid, we saw a huge shift in the way our students interact with information.  We as teachers are constantly having to change up our delivery of information and materials.  I am always looking for new and engaging ways to reach students through the performing arts.  Bucket drumming and Ukuleles were just the right addition to get all our students interested in music again.”  With the grant, Rios was able to purchase a class set of Ukuleles and bucket drums.  Students in developmental Kindergarten through fourth grade have been working on their stick control and drumming patterns before moving onto the buckets.  Third grade students are focused on learning chords and finger placement on the frets with the Ukuleles.
Third grade student Kenzley Olmstead had this to say when asked about her experience with new instruments this year: “I like the Ukulele.  We didn’t have them last year, and I think I will be able to have a great learning experience.  I think this year I’ll be successful learning about the Ukulele.”  Frankie Phaff said her favorite part of having the Ukuleles is “learning a new instrument and new things.”
Mrs. Rios is hopeful that over the next few years Sonoma students will be able to perform for different events around the city.

Students playing ukulele Students drumming on buckets Students drumming on buckets Students Drumming on Buckets Students playing ukuleles