My son was eight years old, in third grade, and very distracted in class due to having at least ten classmates with behavioral and learning disabilities. I asked myself, “What can I do to help him cope with this?” I explained to him that the situation was like training for real life, having real issues of staying on task and staying focused while being distracted. Coincidentally, at that time I found drumming, and married it to what I already knew as a Child Development Specialist, teaching social and emotional skill building.

I got busy training with the UCLArts and Healing program, Beat the Odds, and then started my own pilot program with 53 third graders. During the first eight weeks I realized that I could present this concept to my younger son, who was in Pre-K, and he would benefit as well.

I got really excited then, and realized all children in early childhood could benefit from social and emotional skill building delivered through the hands-on, fun activity of drumming. The more I experienced it, the more I saw drumming as a useful tool to help guide children into the knowledge and awareness of life skills, which aligned perfectly with my own personal philosophy of helping them to develop their social and emotional skills. After a year of piloting the program, with the help of family and friends fundraising with a music CD, and with a grant from a private donor, Drum to LEARN was officially born in 2012.

Drum to LEARN is indeed, “playtime with a purpose.”