Once a week after school during the 2016-17 school year, the performing arts center at Pleasant Hill Elementary School filled the school with percussion rhythms. Lindsey Ervi, Pleasant Hill ES performing arts teacher, found her students loved a program called KidStix enough to turn it into an after-school club.
KidStix is a percussion program created by former Florida Music Educator of the Year Dr. Artie Almeida. It teaches students how to read rhythm patterns by engaging in play-along arrangements, including traditional, classical and popular music selections.
“It’s a kid-friendly and super fun approach to learning how to read rhythms and play percussion,” Ervi said. “The music used with the program is fun, and the patterns are simple enough for kids to learn quickly.
Students played on instruments such as the crash can, beat board, tambourine, pop toob, as well as the more traditional percussion drumsticks. Ervi said the variety of instruments allowed the students to discover how different sounds make up a piece of music.
In May, the KidStix percussion group performed an end-of-year recital for their parents.
“The kids have loved it!” Ervi said.