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Everson fifth graders create own drum routine

One Friday a group of fifth grade students in Tara Olson’s Everson Elementary School class had all their homework wrapped up for the week. That meant “Fun Friday” went into effect, allowing the students some free time. For Leslie, Tanya, Echo and Mircah, that free time translated into using the djembe drum in Olson’s classroom to create a new drum routine.

“(Music teacher) Jeanette Perry knew that drumming was an option for students during Fun Friday and told them that if they ever wanted to do a performance of a routine they had practiced in class, they could come and perform in the music class for some of the younger students,” Olson says. That successful experience led to the group asking principal Kevin DeVere if they could share the routine with the entire student body.

To prepare for the final Pioneer Pride assembly of the year, the group of students practiced during the last recess of every day until the performance and on Mondays they practiced during both recess times, working with a Compass 2 Campus mentor from Western Washington University. “She worked with them on these days,” Olson says, “to refine their routines and help them be performance ready.”

The group continued the practicing—they created the rhythm together and each also had a solo—until the assembly, which went off with spectacular success. “It took a lot of practice to make that happen,” Olson says.

Ever since Perry introduced the drums in music, the students have shown an increased interest in the instrument. Using new instruments and experiences has helped broaden the scope of understanding for Everson elementary students, whether in the world of music or simply in accomplishing something together.