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March to the beat of music education

A record number of grants were awarded this past CEF grant cycle, and Collierville music teachers won big with six total instrument-related grants. With March being national Music In Our Schools Month, CEF is highlighting three of those dedicated teachers and their music classes!

Students can learn many lessons from music other than how to properly play the instrument, including self-discipline, coordination and patience. Here are a few of the music grants making an impact in Collierville Schools.

Lessons in the drum circle

With their new choices of instruments such as tubanos, maracas, shekeres and claves, students in Sycamore Elementary School’s music class are more eager to participate in drum circles. Each student in the circle learns to play as an ensemble and how to stay on beat. Different types of non-pitched percussion instruments are analyzed by each student as they learn to recognize the unique sounds. Not only do students explore the rhythm of the drums in this music class, they also study the Caribbean and African background and influence of the instruments. The history lesson, intertwined with the music, gives students a first look at how music influences culture.

Band performances

Students in the concert band at Collierville Middle School are performing for their friends and family with brand-new marimbas. The marimba is an instrument with wooden bars that percussionists strike with mallets. They are an essential part of the percussion family, and musicians have played them for thousands of years. Thanks to the brand-new marimbas courtesy of CEF, the CMS students are playing more challenging music than ever before. With these new instruments, the school is on a level playing field in honor band competitions. The updated equipment provides better sound and will hold up for many years to come.

Details in the drums

Kettle drums, also known as timpani, are Bailey Station Elementary School’s newest addition to the music room. Music teacher Terry Henson combines the kettle drums with singing and speech to develop students’ innate musical abilities. Blending music with vocals helps the students pick up on the rhythm and pay attention to the details. Key lessons that Henson teaches with the drums are imitation, exploration, improvisation and composition. These lessons give students the ability to reproduce micro and macro details heard in the compositions.

CEF is thrilled to provide such grants that enhance music education in Collierville. Giving every teacher the tools to help their students is CEF’s goal. Interested in donating or applying for a grant next year? Visit our website.


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