We had the amazing opportunity to visit our friends at Pulse Drumming as they gave us our first experience in their Passport Program! Pulse Drumming is also a non-profit organization who works with youth, but they specialize in the category of drumming and percussion. We got in contact with Trey (who is a drum instructor at Pulse) through a fundraiser held at Squashed Grapes a couple of months ago. Immediately there was a bonding between Pulse and N4N. We went back and forth with possible ideas for collaborations and that’s when the Passport Program came into play.
The Passport Program is such a great idea for youth to learn rhythms from different cultures, but also it serves as a Geography lesson at the same time. We’ve talked about Trey, but we haven’t said much about Kim yet. Kim is the founder of Pulse, and she is perfect! She founded the school 12 years ago with her late husband and is a strong believer in community partnerships. She engages the youth with her joyous energy and has the magic ability to get a room filled with 2nd-5th grades to be still and remained focus.
We as N4N took 13 members to Pulse and walked into a dream-like room that made you feel as if you were in a tree house hiding in the middle of a forest. This place was awesome! Chairs made from tree stumps, huge leaves hanging over our heads and African designs throughout the whole room. We sat in the chairs and Kim gave each of us an ASHIKO drum. We then introduced ourselves by hitting the conga to the same amount of syllables in our name.
Then came the DJUN which is topped with cow skin! Our members were excited to be the “conductor” they would sit behind the D’Jembe and lead everyone into the appropriate rhythm pattern. As the conductor, they had the power to start and then stop the whole group by counting us in with a simple 4 count and then to stop simple raise your sticks.
We want to give a special thank you to Kim, Trey and even Diana (B&G Club director) for making this happen. We can’t wait to go back!