The Magic of One Drum

I bring them to the large room

My students sit to wait

They’re talking and they’re anxious

To start up from their break.


I take a hold of one small drum

Caress it with my hands,

And as I beat so softly

They seem to understand.


Doom, ckick-a chick; Doom doom chick

Doom, ckick-a chick; Doom doom chick


Some students start to stare at me,

Some students look away,

Some students start to tap with me

On the floor, they start to play.


Doom, ckick-a chick; Doom doom chick

Doom, ckick-a chick; Doom doom chick


Other classes start to enter –

It’s a fourth grade meeting thing.

As they walk into the large room

They notice as I sing:


“Come right in,” Doom doom chick

“Come and sit,” Doom doom chick


As naturally as muses

they succumb to my one drum.

Class by class they enter;

They sit, they sway, some hum.


Doom, ckick-a chick; Doom doom chick

Doom, ckick-a chick; Doom doom chick


And now we’re in a rhythm

Over 100 are all there.

Community is building

As magic fills the air.


Slap-slap, clap; Doom doom chick

Slap-slap, clap; Doom doom chick

Doom, ckick-a chick; Doom doom chick

Doom, ckick-a chick; Doom doom chick


It’s time to start the lesson

A countdown I now say:

4 – – -; Doom doom chick

3 – – -; Doom doom chick-

2 – – -; Doom doom chick

1 – –  -; Doom doom chick




We are ready to begin.


So, what was that?   This depicts a fantastic musical experience I had with the fourth graders at my school last Friday afternoon: a moment of musical magic I wanted to share.  Hope you enjoyed!  ~EMP


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Article by Elizabeth Peterson

Elizabeth Peterson has devoted her life to education and to reaching out to other teachers who want to remain inspired. Mrs. Peterson teaches fourth grade in Amesbury, Massachusetts and is the host of She holds an M.Ed. in Education, “Arts and Learning” and a C.A.G.S. degree with a focus in “Arts Leadership and Learning.” Elizabeth is author of Inspired by Listening, a teacher resource book that includes a method of music integration she has developed and implemented into her own teaching. She teaches workshops and courses on the integration of the arts into the curriculum and organizes the annual summer Teacher Art Retreat. Mrs. Peterson believes there is a love of active, integrated learning in all children and from their enthusiasm, teachers can shape great opportunities to learn.
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  1. Liz Morris says:

    So simple, and yet so powerful! Thanks for sharing such an awesome idea – the rhythm of the poem matched the rhythm of your drum and added to the inspiration. I often use hand percussion patterns to gain the children’s attention, but adding an actual drum really ups the power.

    • That was such a fun time. It lasted about 10 minutes and for those moments I had over 100 kids under my total control. Mwah-ha-ha!!!

      But really, they were so focused. Not one child wanted to mess with our bonding experience!

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