Spirit Drumz Home
About Spirit Drumz

Recent Projects

Africa 2008 Drum & Dance

Afia Walking Tree Bio




Contact Us


School Assemblies

Untitled, by Afia


Cultivating Youth Cultural Literacy & Leadership through African-Based Drumming and the Creative-Expressive-Visual-Performance Arts

Strength and Courage are our tools

When we Drum, Spirit Drumz

I Am Alive, I am Beautiful, I am Creative, I can Do Anything I put my Love and heart into!

are a few essential affirmationz we chant as the grounding force in our play with children and youth. These affirmationz set the foundations for building safety, trust, self-esteem, leadership, focus, pride, engagement, and community bonding required for youth excellence.

Spirit Drumz edutainment program Drum-Talk-Story offers exciting drum-songs with Afia Walking Tree, educator, griot, world-class percussionist, ritualist, and activist. Drum-Talk-Story is an inspiring storytelling journey and an interactive leadership program which engages and motivates students of all ages, through expressive play, storybuilding, inquiry, singing, dancing, and polyrhythmic drumming.

Here is an overview of what this awe-inspiring journey entails for the student audiences of all ages. Please freely contact us with questions at 510-534-9603.

We recently completed residencies in Oakland Unified School Districts at Excel High School, King Estates Middle School, Maxwell Park Elementary School, and Redwood Day School. Spirit Drumz works in multiple schools throughout the year and welcomes the opportunity to work with your students and staff.


is a journey into the her/history of how drums of the African Diaspora made their way to the Americas. This interactive, percussive story artfully weaves her/historical information, personal experiences, drumsongs, audience inquiry and responses, humor and invocations.

    Journey to Africa and beyond and experience how the drumz came to the Americas
    Explore Creative Expression, African-Based Drumming & Leadership Skills
    Learn the FunDRUMentals of hand, stick and body drumming
    Build Multiple Life Skills
    Awaken your voices
    Drum your Soul Free
    Play in a DrumDance Orchestra

What to Expect Children will learn songs, play drums, play in an orchestra that builds community and enriches cultural awareness. Teachers will learn new strategies for working with multiple learning styles, including the creative-expressive-visual arts and drumming into any curriculum areas.

What Children and Adults Say About Drum-Talk-Story

Motivational; Exciting; It is a lot of fun to play with all the drums together; I loved to play the different drums and learn about the Africans; Provided integral learning tools for children of all ages with multiple learning styles.

Program Formats: Tailored to student/school needs

1 to 8 hours - all-grade assembly (may need to have more than one to see all grades)
1 to 2 weeks - guest residency
4 to 6 weeks - short term residency
10 to 24 weeks - long term residency

Primary Program Goals

    Affirm students wherever they are in their developmental process ­ and establish constant validation of successful behavior and academic progress
    Cultivate a safe, non-threatening, inclusive environment that encourages healthy and responsible creative expression, as well as active listening and conflict management.
    Nurture development of studentsą self-esteem, responsibility, accountability, appropriate self-expression and pride in themselves, their peers, school, families and all cultures.
    Explore multiple aspects of rhythm and percussion through accessible art-based avenues.
    Improve student citizenship in the classroom, school, and home communities.
    Improve studentsą global perspective of community and citizenship through the her/history of culture and music.
    Introduce students to intergenerational staff/instructors who serve as role models and artists within the community.

Program Objectives

We will utilize a number of Tools and Strategies for Empowering youth. Some of the tools we will explore are:

    Verbal (story-telling, self-presentation, songs) and non-verbal tools (reading and writing) to enhance language acquisition, coordination and communication skills.
    Drumming and the creative-expressive arts as tools to assist with student integration of basic developmental skills.
    Student self-exploration, via new language, music, history, cultural appreciation and life skills. We will explore: What is collective community? Who Am I in this community? How Do I feel about myself in this community? What do I need from my community? How do we create an orchestra that reflects this community? What are my favorite instruments? What most impacts me about the story of how the drumz came from Africa to America?
    Community orchestra and performance as a vehicle for community empowerment.

Learning Skills to be Developed

    Self-esteem via active listening, sound power, non-verbal and verbal cues, mural creation, creative writing.
    Community Building via cooperative learning and group decision-making; leadership and activism.
    Music notation, history and techniques via playing different rhythms and instruments, polyrhythms, playing in an orchestra, building mathematics skills and spatial dynamics skills.
    Coordination via physical movement, eye-hand and fine-motor exercises, perspective and directionality.
    Physical, intellectual and emotional self-awareness via the exploration of rhythms and writing from an internal space while taking risks to engage in exercises and processes that may be new and potentially scary.
    Reading via new vocabulary, reading self and other work, writing, reading and counting music.
Youth Requirements

    Agree to the community criteria created by everyone on first day in ways that support 100% excellence and success of everyone.
    Keep a journal that will be written in and read from at various points during the program
    Work in small and large pod groups
    Wear comfortable clothing that can be soiled

"Let the drum be your guide and embrace the untold legacies through your many voices" -Afia Walking Tree

All Content Copyright © 1996-2006 SpiritDrumz.org. All rights reserved.
Spirit Drumz solely and exclusively owns all intellectual property and other rights,
title, logos, tag lines, icons, designs, content, services on this web site.