Keeping the Blues Alive / Blues News  / KTBA Donates African Percussion Instruments to Bar Nunn Elementary!

BAR NUNN, WY – Thanks to your donations, Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation donated African drums and percussion instruments to the music program at Bar Nunn Elementary!

Instruments include: a shekere, three (3) djembes, talking drums, bongos, agogo bells, shakers, and tambourines. 

Mrs. Jill Jones teaches elementary music at Bar Nunn Elementary School.

“In this area [Bar Nunn, Wyoming],  we have little access to supplies other than online and costs are usually enormous,” Mrs. Jones explains. “Elementary Music in the past hasn’t been a favorite subject and since I am new to the school, I want to change that mindset.”

Bar Nunn is a Title I school which means that the school receives financial assistance due to its percentage of students from low-income households. In addition, they receive free or reduced-cost lunches as an effort to ensure that all children have an opportunity to succeed.  However, students are, indeed, excited to attend Bar Nunn and want to learn and be creative.

“Music needs to be full of fun and excitement for all involved and keep students engaged in learning,” she says.  “All students are required to take Elementary Music in this District. I see students twice a week for 30 minutes. Music is always the last to be thought of in [acquiring] budgets, curriculum, and supplies. Everything is usually hand-me-downs which is nice but sometimes something new boosts the program. I feel they deserve the new, fun, and exciting items for Music. The total number of students that would benefit from this project is 325 students Pre-K to 5th Grade.”

One of the most demanding, yet satisfying teaching subjects in music education is rhythm.  As a result, teachers tend to appreciate the intricate drumming techniques and theory of African drumming. 

“I am so excited about this project,” Jones exclaims.  “The students helped create this project which makes it even more exciting. We would like to do African Rhythm Circles using drums and different types of shakers during class, award ceremonies, and an after school program! Our school is in Bar Nunn, Wyoming so we do not have the access to multi-cultural performances or presentations like bigger cities. I have been showing students different musical genres and cultures on Youtube but actually playing these special instruments would mean more to the students. I would be able to go deeper into the African music and culture in Music Class. Using African drums and shakers will help this project come to life for students.

Keeping students engaged and learning in elementary music class can be a challenge, but having the tools that help with an engaged learning environment such as acquiring these African music instruments and books will generate an excitement for music that will last forever.”

Mrs. Jones expresses her gratitude:

Dear Keeping The Blues Alive Foundation, Inc.,

Thank you so very much for another project funded! I really appreciate the opportunity to start exposing students to many different genres starting with African Rhythm Circles. I couldn’t have done this without your help! The students will be excited that their project was funded! Thank you so much!

With gratitude,
Mrs. Jones

Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation is a 501c3 organization that makes a donation to a school in need of music instruments, supplies, sheet music, and more every week! Your donation helps us to keep music in schools, while preserving blues heritage. Without your support, we would not be able to reach as many students around the country. We are grateful for your generosity.

To date, KTBA has reached over 60,000 students.

If you would like to help us to continue to grow, click here to make a donation!  All donations are fully tax-deductible!

Thank you for keeping music education in schools!