Drumming Up a Growth Mindset at St. George-German Public School

Students develop rhythm using traditional drumsCaption: Students find the rhythm during drumming workshop

Having a growth mindset means believing in yourself and your ability to achieve. This has been the focus at St. George-German Public School in 2017-18, and recently, junior and intermediate students had a chance to explore what this means by unleashing their creativity during an African drumming workshop.

The hands-on workshop, led by Jim Arnold, founder of Folklore Music and Arts, invited participation from students, and applied growth-mindset concepts by providing an opportunity to explore and try something new within the structure of Arnold’s instruction.

By taking part in this workshop, students were given a chance to be creative and to experiment with something new,” said Tim Anderson, Grade 7/8 teacher at St. George-German Public School. “They realize that they don’t have to be perfect, and that mistakes can be a fun part of the process.”

A growth mindset applies across the curriculum, playing an important role in achievement and motivation. Grand Erie’s Multi-Year Plan includes Achievement as a key pillar, and focuses on increasing students understanding of effective learning strategies, and how to apply them to solve problems. This workshop provided a powerful way to engage through music, and to view trying something new as an opportunity rather than a challenge.

“Learning how to drum showed us what it’s like when you try to learn anything new,” said Hannah, a student in Grade 7. “You keep trying, and if you make a mistake, you just keep going.”

A number of arts-focused events have taken place this year, or are in the works, at St. George-German Public School, including the upcoming Family Arts and Wellness Night on March 22. The evening will feature visual art, music, workshops, and a focus on wellness including a presentation from the school’s public health nurse, Olivia Hubert.

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