Drum circles foster growth at elementary schools

- Giving Tree Music brings a positive beat that is up lifting spirits and changing the lives of students in the Bay Area.

The founder of Giving Tree Music, Steve Turner has been facilitating Community Drumming around the United States for children and adults since 2000.  

It began as a business. Turner would sell his custom hand drums at festivals and art shows, but would also organize drum circles. He realized the participants would come as strangers, but leave as friends. Today, he visits corporate groups, schools, youth detention centers, special needs groups, seniors and church groups, helping people connect, heal and grow through music.

"They're not just watching a show," Turner says. "[The kids] are a show and that is really what I am trying to get them to feel like, to walk out standing a little taller, feeling a little better about themselves."

At a recent visit to Hammond Elementary School, students' spirits were lifted through songs. Turner says the experience he brings fosters a sense of self worth. The program is centered around drums, but he says it's actually about building community and allowing people to become musicians - and find their true voice.

"It builds a sense of community for our students," Hammond Elementary principal, Mrs. Sheri Norkas agreed. "The students really enjoy it, music and movement is so great for their development."

Steve's positive beat touches lives. When they're playing the drums, kids are smiling and seem to enjoy discovering unique beats.

"Really, people leave feeling better and I know I leave feeling better," Steve said.

For more information, visit http://givingtreemusic.com

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