Mary Todd Elementary School

On Wednesday, March 22, 2017, I visited Mary Todd Elementary School in Lexington, KY to present clinics as part of the Lexington Philharmonic‘s school and community outreach program. It was the first time a percussionist was featured in these clinics. The students were obsessed with all the sounds of the instruments I shared with them, including congas, cajon, shakers, tambourine, various cymbals, guiro, and claves. I asked many questions throughout our time together. The students were enthusiastic and eager to participate!

Mary Todd Elementary Outreach

Here’s the clinic outline:

  • Opened with a brief cajon solo
  • Greet students and introduce the cajon and its history
  • Play opening of Ed Sheerhan’s Shape of You and point out the use of cajon
  • Define “rhythm”
  • Introduced percussion instruments and connected percussion and the importance of rhythm to percussionists
  • Talk about the rhythms all around us (e.g. cross walk signal, turn signal in a car, walking footsteps, clock “tick”, etc.)
  • Played recordings of birds singing as another example of rhythms found in nature
  • Students created rhythms via call & response
  • Split the group into 3 sections. Each played their own rhythm. Layer them in and out to see how rhythms in various combinations make more interesting composite rhythms.

Mary Todd Elementary Outreach