Drums from a Small PlanetDrum Circle demonstration at Hot Summer Jazz Festival, MPLS. MN

Kenne Thomas

Instructor, Facilitator, Storyteller


Music is expression for the cultures of the world. This seminar is to point out our similarities and differences through music of the world. By understanding the music of other cultures I hope people will begin to appreciate each other, bringing us closer together as a world community. We can celebrate the diversity among us by sharing our common elements. Using our global link, music we can learn about, and share our unique qualities.

The most common musical instrument on earth is-the drum. In the Bantu language of the African sub-Saharan region, the word Ngoma represents the inseparable concepts of, drum, dance, and song. This belief is shared by other cultures of the world, also. So I present, La Musique du Monde, World Music, Pheeg puv tebchaws, Musica del Mundo, Sekai no Ongaku, in a forum for all. Come and enjoy, play, create, and share the experience of world music with drums from a small planet!

African drumming, drum circles, team building, kids rhythms, programs for all ages

"I liked the play/story it was fun the way he told it and we could just do it without rehearsing or anything". Claire age 12

"I liked getting to play the drum". Charlie age 10

"It is definitely an experience they will keep for a long time". Caren Carlson, Instructor - Fox Valley Montessori School, Aurora, Il.

"People were talking about it for weeks"! Angela, Director - Wayzata Music Educators Boosters, Wayzata, MN.

Ebenezer Senior Home, Elderly/Young Drum Circle Bloomington, MNChabad Lubavitch synagogue Purim event, Cottage Grove, MNRondo Elem. School targeted students summer music class, St. Paul, MN
Bridgeview School world drumming demonstration, St. Paul, MNKids birthday party drum circle MPLS. MNFarm In The City world culture activity at Concordia University, St. Paul, MN

The joy of our planet's music and cultures has been presented to many schools, companies, institutions, and facilities in a wide variety locations. All ages are welcome. Challenged, handicapped, infirmed, and those incarcerated can take part in the rhythmic activities. Here are some of the places which have enjoyed drums from a small planet.

Osaka International College, Osaka, Japan
Osaka International School, Minoh, Japan
Moorhead School Dist. Schools, Moorhead, MN
Moorhead State University, Moorhead, MN
Fargo Public Library, Fargo, N.D.
Fargo-Moorhead YMCA, Fargo, N.D.
Presbyterian Church, Fargo, N.D.
Episcopalian Church, Moorhead, MN
Marguerite's Music Store, Moorhead, MN
West Central Juvenile Detention Center, MN
Trollwood Arts Park, Fargo, N.D.
City Park, Ft. Collins, CO
MARS Music Store, Roseville, MN
Minneapolis Parks and Rec., MN
Body Mind Circle Yoga Studio, Circle Pines, MN
Chabad Minnesota
Farm In The City Youth Program, St. Paul, MN
St. James Catholic School, Chicago, IL
Fox Valley Montessori School, Aurora, IL
Project for Pride in Living, Mpls. MN
St. Paul ISD 625 School Dist. MN
Beth-Israel Camp, Minnetonka, MN
C.E.S.A. 11, WI
Ellis Drum Shop, St. Paul, MN
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Roseville, MN
First Unitarian Society Retreat, Camp St. Croix, WI
Cargill Corp. MN
G.M.A.C., Mpls. MN
Mt. Olivet Retreat Center, Lakeville, MN
Roseville Area ISD 623 School Dist. MN
Gillette Children's Hospital, St. Paul, MN
North St. Paul/Maplewood ISD 622 School Dist. MN


    To instill an understanding and appreciation of the peoples of the world through the music and stories representing the cultures of those people.
    World culture is explored through dance, song, and rhythm.
    Musical instruments indigenous to various regions of the world are demonstrated, explained, and then played by participants in the session.



    Drum Circle manual for facilitators and teachersKen uses rhythms and strategies from his popular book, "Drum Circle Cookbook" to create a community of cooperative drumming with the participants.
    The Drum Circle is for participants to interact and play at their own pace.All ages may take part. Rhythms are performed according to a persons ability. Success is measured by everyone participating and doing their best.
    Authentic indigenous rhythms may be performed in the oral tradition. Songs and rhythm games, like "Jello" and "Hometown Hero" are played giving everyone a dynamic part.
    Physically challenged participants are encouraged to play and share their ideas.


    Nurturing young players is an effort Kenne has an intuitive focus on. He does his, "RhythmiKidz", "Youth Beat" and "Kids Drum" classes and seminars at schools. Rhythm manual for facilitators and teachers of kids - young and old. His book, "RhythmiKidz" , is a popular manual for elementary kids with patterns and activities to enrich young players rhythmic performance skills and appreciation of drumming as well as music in general.
    Ken uses the school and student tested rhythm pieces and classroom materials in his books as a guide for teaching drumming rhythms to elementary school children and preteens.
    Teachers, Community Center Facilitators and Day Care Providers can find valuable resources in this book also.


    General seminar arranged for grades - (K-2)(3-4)(5-6)(7-8), enabling them to see, hear, and play international musical instruments firsthand with their peers through level specific language.
    Expansion seminar for teens, adults, and teachers. This includes a more in depth discussion of the people, and their cultures, and how music is socially and ritualistically integrated into those cultures.
    AT RISK and CAAP intervention program focus to give kids social and scholastic inclusion.
    Special seminars are done for infirmed, handicapped and special needs kids and adults in conjunction with rehabilitation and music therapy programs.

For kindergarten and elementary school aged kid's programs, the Drums From A Small Planet workshop also includes interactive stories like,"Kassa", "Ming Lo", "Udala'm" and the feature:
dancing child
"Story Of The First Drum"

Stories are told in a narrative, enlisting participants in role playing, call and response, and rhythm performance, to bring the stories to life!



    Drums, wind instruments, and songs of different peoples from around the world are used. Video performances of native peoples and audio tapes are used for reference discussions and a visual connection.
    Stories are told and crafts are made representing celebrations, festivals, and characters from around the world.


    Hall or Classroom, with an Audio/Video system and an online SmartBoard, if available. For auditoriums, cafeterias, or large multi-purpose rooms a microphone is necessary.
    Carpeted open area is preferred for instrument usage and dance movement comfort.
    If the weather is pleasant, the seminar may be held out of doors.


    30-45 minutes a session for kindergarten and lower elementary grades.
    50-90 minute sessions for middle, secondary, and college level students.
    Adult and Educator sessions may be as long as arranged for.


    A performance at the end of each session, possibly video taped, for the school or group.
    An ethnic music performance by the participants, possibly in the community.
    Crafts to take home and to school representing world cultures.
    Online Quizzes, (World, Earth, Global, Planet) on the seminar, for fun and assessment.



    Classes are wholly self contained, as an independent seminar, or, cumulative, in which each class covers a region of the world.

    For The Physically Challenged

    This is a HANDS ON seminar.

    Everyone may actively take part. The sessions are arranged so everyone in attendance will have something to do. Physically challenged people are given instruction on compatible instruments so they may understand, play, and share with others. As a form of 'music therapy', percussion is a tested and documented vehicle for stimulating motor skills and social interaction in physically challenged people. Cooperation and communication are encouraged in a non-threatening manner. Activities from the book "Drum Circle Cookbook" are used to instigate and stimulate neighbor, partner, and group interaction. Everyone can participate and enjoy themselves. In creative settings, participants, students will also have something to take home, and to school from the workshop, to share with family, friends, and classmates.

    Click here for the brochure web page (Printable). Click here to download a PDF (872 KB) version.
    (Adobe Reader necessary)
    Click here for scholastic and organization pricing.
    Click here for the online Event Planner Form.
    Click the question mark to go to the Drums From A Small Planet online quiz pages.


Drum Circles


Drums From A Small Planet Workshops
Roseville, Minnesota 55113-4562
ph. 651.494.9309
email: contact@mninter.net


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