The Three Drummers

18 Jul


In one of my classes today, I noticed three distinctly different types of drummers: The Holder, The Builder, and The Tapper. The Holder sat with the drum on her lap and watched other people play with their drums. The Builder spent most of his time stacking his drum on top of other people’s drums. The Tapper used her hand to tap the drum in very much the same way that we grown-ups were playing our drums. Someone new to a Music Together class might have seen these three drummers and noted, “Only one, The Tapper, is actually having a musical experience.” Of course, that observer would be completely incorrect!

All three of these drummers were playing in their own, developmentally-appropriate way. Child development researchers have found that quietly observing, building with materials, and practicing the “grown-up way” of doing things are all three equally valid — and important — ways of playing AND of learning. Stopping any of these forms of play serves to stop the learning that’s taking place. In this case, The Holder, The Builder and The Tapper were all three learning a great deal about music, through their particular mode of play — even if it looked like they weren’t doing anything musical at all.

I wonder what other kinds of drummers I’ll notice in the rest of my classes this week…


2 Responses to “The Three Drummers”

  1. Jen July 18, 2011 at 9:36 pm #

    maybe one who absorbs the rhythm through the diaper?

    • annesailer July 19, 2011 at 12:48 pm #

      Oh, most definitely! And through the mouth, or through the floor… There are unlimited ways to drum, aren’t there? 🙂

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