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The Daily Ardmoreite
  • Students learn to the beat of a different drum

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  • Lessons at Plainview Primary have gained a beat this week as Allan Johnson presented Drum2Learn.
    Johnson has taught percussion in Oklahoma City for 20 years. His lessons focus on both percussion instruction and the power of music in the learning process.
    "It's built around neuroscience to help kids memorize what they need to know in the classroom," Johnson said.
    With Drum2Learn, teachers tell Johnson about topics their students are struggling with and he turns them into a song.
    "I developed this program to make learning cool," he said. "Kids might not remember the math facts, but they can remember the lyrics to a song. The brain activates and they really remember."
    According to Johnson, research has shown that music engages different parts of the brain and retaining information is 80 percent better when this occurs. Also, students who play drums regularly increase their math skills by 57 percent.
    Lessons will culminate at 6:30 tonight, as the students present a concert in the Plainview Activity Center.
    Each class will present two songs — one that is strictly percussion and another that includes the classroom content.
    First-graders are learning about doubles, adding a number to itself like one plus one equals two.
    "We get to sing songs about doubles," said first-grader Hattie Nance. "I get mixed up on some of them, but now I know them better."
    Students have appreciated the opportunity to expand their musical talents.
    "I like the drums because of the loud noise, and we're going to be in a concert," said first-grader Robby Surber.
    They have also been mesmerized by Johnson's teaching.
    "It's fun to play the drums because Mr. Johnson is always nice and funny," said first-grader Taylor Landis.
    The students have come a long way since the beginning of the week when Johnson told them they sounded like "elephants falling down stairs."
    "We get to sing and play drums, and he's really funny," said first-grader Hannah Johnson.

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