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Drumming Up Success



Steve Dawson has transformed his music department and has improved behaviour and achievement throughout his school by introducing African drumming.

Following a damning Ofsted report, Steve was sent to Newcastle-under-Lyme Community High School to revitalise their music department. He raised enough money for every student in his class to have their own West African djhemba.

It soon became obvious the drumming exercises boost pupils' self-esteem, and being part of a band encourages students to respect others. Participation in Steve's band has led to less behavioural problems and exclusions.

Key points:

  • Drumming is an excellent way to get students involved in a music programme: pupils don't need much ability to begin making 'music' on a drum
  • Steve's programme benefits the community as well as his school when his drumming ensemble goes on tour
  • Drums are a relatively inexpensive and indestructible piece of kit

Published : Feb 2005

15 mins




Secondary Teacher


Secondary Music


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