Photo Credit:  dimnikolov

Photo Credit: dimnikolov

Melissa Blum

Melissa Blum has over 25 years’ experience teaching music at the pre-K, elementary, middle school, and adult levels. She is a Vice President at West Music, where she is Director of National Sales and Service and an Educational Consultant for early childhood products and World Music Drumming. She developed and writes curriculum for Sing & Play & Learn Today!, West Music’s early childhood music and movement program, bringing music classes to children ages 6 months through 5 years and their families.

Melissa has been a member of the World Music Drumming Faculty since 2009, creating the curriculum and teaching the Drumming Up the Fun! workshop, for teachers of children ages 3-8. Melissa has facilitated World Music Drumming ensembles as a team-building exercise at a variety of corporate and community events for children and adults, and is a clinician for state music conferences, Orff chapter workshops, daycare/preschool providers, public school professional development events, and ECMM educators on the topic of incorporating developmentally appropriate music activities in the pre-k- grade 2 classroom setting. Melissa can be reached at West Music, 1-800-397-9378 ext 1111.

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Patricia Bourne, Director

Patricia (Patty) Bourne is a veteran music educator, having taught all grades, P-graduate level, in four states.  Currently, Bourne is Coordinator of Music Education at Western Washington University, in Bellingham, WA.  Patty maintains an active schedule as workshop clinician, presenting to pre-service, novice, and experienced music educators on a variety of topics. She is guest conductor at regional and all-state choruses in multiple states as well as adjudicator for secondary vocal solo and ensembles throughout the Northwest region.

A native of Kentucky, Bourne received degrees from Murray State University (BME), the University of Oklahoma (MME), and Arizona State University (Ed.D.). Patty is on the teaching and administrative staff for World Music Drumming and is the author of two texts: “Inside the Music Classroom: Teaching the Art with Heart” and “Inside the Elementary Chorus: Instructional Techniques for the Non-Select Children’s Chorus”.  She was selected as the Washington Music Educator of the Year and is an inductee of the Washington Music Educators Hall of Fame. Recently, Patty received the Excellence in Teaching award from Western Washington University, and has been identified and selected as a Master Teacher by the Conn-Selmer Corporation. Patty, and husband Tom, have now assumed leadership and administrative roles for the World Music Drumming professional development workshops.

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Lynn Brinckmeyer

Lynn Brinckmeyer brings 25+ years of teaching experience to the faculty. She currently teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in choral music education at Texas State University and serves as the School of Music Associate Director. Lynn taught K-8 in New Mexico and she has continued to teach children and adolescents in church choirs and community youth choirs since moving to higher education. Lynn is co-founder and Artistic Director for the Hill Country Youth Chorus in San Marcos, Texas. Her World Music Drumming workshop "Kids, Choir and Drums" focuses on incorporating singing, drumming and movement to teach “kid tested” strategies and materials for grades 4-8.

During 2006-2008 Lynn served as President for The National Association for Music Education (formerly MENC). She recently published Wander the World with Warm-ups with Hal Leonard Publishing; and  Advocate for Music with Oxford University Press. She has conducted all state choirs and honor choirs, lectured, presented master classes and performed in forty-nine states in the United States and sixteen different countries, including China, South Africa and Cuba.

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Michael Checco

Michael Checco is an elementary music specialist in the Middletown Area School District in Pennsylvania.  He currently teaches K-5 general music, chorus, and an African Drum Ensemble, and previously taught middle school music for 10 years.  Before coming to Middletown, Michael was Director of Choral Activities at La Salle College High School in Philadelphia.  Michael received his B.M. from Susquehanna University where he studied trumpet and voice and a M.M.E. from West Chester University with an emphasis in Kodaly pedagogy.  He took his first World Music Drumming class in 2007 and been sharing his love of drumming with friends, family, and students ever since.

Michael has led drumming workshops at PMEA conferences at the state and regional level as well as at local colleges and churches.  In 2012, his 5th grade African Drum Ensemble performed at the Pennsylvania State Capitol.  He is an active choral musician, singing with the Susquehanna Chorale, and serves as a Advocacy Chairperson in his PMEA district. 

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Paul Corbière

Paul Corbière lives in Iowa City, Iowa, and teaches for the Clear Creek Amana School District in Tiffin, Iowa, where he is a K-­‐5 General Music Teacher. Prior to continuing his career in Iowa, Paul taught in Palm Beach County, Florida for fourteen years. He is the cofounder of the Beat For Peace program combining World Music Drumming and Resiliency Research. Paul received his Masters of Music in Percussion Performance from the Ohio State University in 1992 and his Bachelors of Fine Arts in Music Education degree from Florida Atlantic University in 1989.

Paul has been a featured clinician at many state and national Music Educators Association Conferences and AOSA Conferences as well as a featured presenter for the European Council of International Schools. In October, 2005, he was composer and co-­‐facilitator of the Iowa Groove, a 1300 person drum ensemble. Paul is a consultant for the Just Play It! Classroom Harmonica Method, a classroom Blues Harmonica curriculum. Paul has published materials for drum, xylophone, and recorder ensembles: Skins, Sticks, and Bars; Happy Jammin'; From BAGs to Riches.

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Chad Craig

Chad Craig is an elementary music teacher/percussionist and has been performing and teaching in SW Florida for the last 20 years.  He has music ed./performance degrees from Indiana University and State University of NY at Fredonia.  Chad studied drumset with Kenny Aronoff (John Mellencamp) and Timpani with Gerald Carlyss (Philadelphia Orchestra).  He has studied traditional African drumming with M’Bemba Bangoura of Guinea.

Chad is currently is teaching at Sea Gate Elementary where he implements the “World Music Drumming” curriculum.  His drumming group plays throughout SW Florida.  He is grateful to be on the “World Music Drumming” staff where his gets to learn from and teach with the best music educators around.  He keeps his drumset chops up by playing in the Covenant Church of Naples Praise Band.

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Rich Dubé

Rich Dubé currently teaches Kindergarten to 4 music and grade 5 to 7 band in French at École candienne-française in Saskatoon. For his first 10 years, he taught at Pleasant Hill Community School where over 96% of the students are of Aboriginal ancestry. World Music Drumming became an integral part of his teaching since he took his first course in 2000 after which he started the Circle of Peace community drumming program in the inner city of Saskatoon. Richard earned his Level III in world Music Drumming and currently serves on the faculty of the World Music Drumming program for Dr. Will Schmid.

In addition to World Music Drumming, Richard began using the Native American style flute in 2000 while teaching his middle years students at Pleasant Hill Community School where over 96% of the students are of Aboriginal ancestry. They gained a great deal of pride in themselves and in their culture. In the words of an Elder, it was no longer just an instrument, it was “their spirit they were carrying.” Richard collaborated with Kevin Locke, song keeper for the Lakota people, on writing and developing a Lakota based flute curriculum that is published by the Lakota Language Consortium. Richard has taught week long flute courses with Kevin Locke at Sitting Bull College in North Dakota.

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Fabián Galli

Fabián Galli has been lower school music teacher at the International School of Amsterdam (ISA) since 2002 and before this for fourteen years in his home country Argentina. From 2015 he has been acting as the Chair of Music Education of ECIS (European Council International Schools). His degrees are from the Buenos Aires Conservatorium in Music Education, piano and flute, and he was awarded a Choral conducting degree from the Paris Conservatoire of Creteil, 2002.

 While living in Brazil, Fabián developed an active interest in percussion and began incorporating the World Music Drumming curriculum into his teaching. The WMD is fully implemented in all the Lower School at ISA.

Fabián has completed the 3 levels of Orff Training in San Francisco, USA. Inspired by his involvement with the WMD workshop, Fabián started a Marimba Band in Amsterdam, the first one of this type in Europe.

 Contact Fabian at

Kofi Gbolonyo

Dr. Kofi Gbolonyo is a Ghanaian music educator, performer and scholar. He is an Adjunct Professor of Ethnomusicology and African Studies at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in African music, Ethnomusicology, and African Studies and Directs the UBC African Ensemble and Co-Directs Adanu Habobo. Kofi is the Founding Director of Nunya Music Academyand the Ghana School Project.  He is also the Coordinator of the Orff-Afrique Summer Program in Ghana.

Kofi holds a Teachers’ Diploma in Education in Music and Ewe Language (University of Education, Winneba, Ghana); BA Honors in Linguistics and Music (University of Ghana, Legon); Certificate in Orff-Schulwerk Level III (San Francisco Orff Course); Graduate Certificate in African Studies, MA and Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology (University of Pittsburgh, PA, USA).  Dr. Gbolonyo is a seasoned clinician who loves teaching children across cultures, performs, conducts workshops and gives presentations all over the world. He has thought general music K-12, Orff-Schulwerk and African music, dance, jazz, brass and choral music in Ghana and in many countries in Asia, Europe, South America and in many states and provinces in the US and Canada. His areas of expertise include West African Music and Dance, Ewe Language, Culture, and Indigenous Knowledge, Orff-Schulwerk, Brass Band and Choral Music.

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Walt Hampton

Walt Hampton received his teaching certificate as well as Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in Percussion Performance from Central Washington University. He has served as Principal Percussionist or Timpanist with numerous symphony orchestras, and he frequently performs on drum set, providing backup for several notable jazz artists who tour the Northwest. He is also a frequent performer on the guitar and bass, and an active composer.

Walt has presented clinics and workshops on three continents, as well as national, regional, and state conventions for AOSA and MENC. He frequently tours and performs with his student marimba bands, Rugare (elementary age), ‘Baduku (middle-school age) and ‘Bahuru (high-school age) performing a variety of styles, including Zimbabwean-flavored marimba music from his books, Hot Marimba!, Marimba Mojo! and Son of Hot Marimba. Walt teaches K-5 General music at White Bluffs Elementary School in Richland, Washington, and has more than a quarter-century of public school teaching experience. Walt has received several awards for his teaching, including the Washington State Excellence in Education Award.

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Margaret Jerz

Margaret Jerz taught elementary music in FL, NH and WI. In addition to her elementary classes, she directed several DRRUM (Discipline, Respect, Responsibility and Unity through Music) clubs, an outgrowth of the students' desire to improve their music performance skills through percussion activities. Recently retired, Margaret remains active in music education, substitute teaching in her former school district in grades kindergarten through high school band and chorus.  

Margaret holds a BA from the U of Northern Iowa and a MME from the U of WI - Stevens Point. She earned her Certification in Orff-Schulwerk at the U of Lowell, Lowell, MA. She has been involved in the World Music Drumming program since its beginnings. She twice received her district's Excellence in Education award.  An active clinician, Margaret has presented at numerous conferences locally and at state and national conferences.

Margaret is the co-creator of several sets of banners and posters including the Word Power posters that feature the key words from the World Music Drumming curriculum.  She is the author of “Plays Well Together,” a collection of songs and activities for voices, recorders, bar instruments and drum ensembles.

For more information, visit
Contact Margaret at

Hong Le

Hong Le is a National Board Certified elementary music specialist. She graduated summa cum laude with Bachelors of Music in music education and bassoon performance degrees from the University of Arkansas. She also received the Master of Music Education degree from the University of Illinois and Master of Educational Administration degree from the University of North Texas. Hong currently serves as general music specialist in the Hudson City Schools in Hudson, Ohio, teaching with a combination of Orff, Kodaly, and World Music Drumming techniques. She is music director of the “One Beat” Drum Ensemble.

Hong has a passion for contributing as a professional colleague. She is a member of the national World Music Drumming teaching staff and serves as the K-5 Unified Arts Facilitator and Lead Mentor for the Hudson Schools.  Hong has presented at music, bilingual education, and beginning teacher workshops and conferences. She has used the World Music Drumming curriculum as a means of leading faculty team-building sessions and working with at-risk students.
Hong was awarded the Texas PTA Honorary Lifetime Membership Award, named the 2008 Teacher of the Year in Hudson, and received the 2012 Distinguished Teacher Award and Hudson PTA Child Advocate for the Arts Award.

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James Mader

James Mader earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Music Education from Florida Atlantic University in 1989.  He holds a Certificate in Percussion Performance from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA.  James began his music education career in 1990 at Conniston Middle School in Palm Beach County, where he was band director and general music teacher.  He transferred to the Broward County School system in 1991 and taught chorus at Stanahan High School (1991-92) and band at Lauderdale Lakes Middle School  (1992-1998).  While at Lauderdale Lakes Middle School, James was selected as one of twenty music teachers from the United States and Canada to pilot the World Music Drumming Curriculum.

James was recruited to Parkway Middle School of the Arts, where he currently teaches 290+ students in seven classes a day, five days a week utilizing the World Music Drumming Curriculum to raise student’s academics and self-esteem.  A significant number of these students are “at risk”.

James Mader frequently serves as clinician in the implementation of the World Music Drumming Curriculum and has conducted or assisted in clinics, residencies, and workshops in multiple states throughout the country. James has presented the WMDC or his own compositions at LMEA, WMEA, OKMEA, FMEA, SDMEA, TMEA, SCMEA, LIAOSA, AOSA National Conference, and many Orff chapters throughout the U.S.A.  James has authored numerous pieces of drum and xylophone ensembles that music teachers across the nation have found instrumental in developing the learning skills and test taking skills of their student ensembles through the academic study of music.

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Cindy Mayo

During her 33 years of teaching at the Orchard Park, NY Middle School, Cindy Mayo taught Chorus and General Music, Select Choir, Drum Ensemble, directed the school musical, and was the Instructional Leader for Music. Cindy holds degrees in Music Education from SUNY Fredonia and Ithaca College.

Cindy has given workshops and clinics in drumming at local, state, and national conferences and has taught classroom drumming at SUNY Fredonia. Currently, she is working with Druminar, presenting team-building and leadership workshops with members and staff of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. She is also an active singer and choral conductor, conducting numerous honor choirs and festivals around New York State. Cindy is a member of the Buffalo Master Chorale, the Westminster Presbyterian Church Choir, appears in productions with the Aurora Players, and is a former member of the Board of Directors for the Erie County Music Educators Association. In 2003 Cindy was awarded the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Excellence in Music Education Award for Classroom Music. She was a contributing author for the NYS Education Dept. publication of a resource guide and DVD on standards-based teaching in music. Since 2012, Cindy has been the Executive Director of the Buffalo Niagara Youth Chorus, and has also been a Teaching Partner for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.

Contact Cindy at

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Sowah Mensah

Sowah Mensah is an ethnomusicologist, composer and a “Master Drummer” from Ghana. He is the Director of African Music at Macalester College, St Paul, Minnesota and also directs the African Music Ensemble. He is also the director of the African Music Ensembles at both the University of Minnesota and the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis and St Paul, respectively. He was ”James Marsh Professor at Large” at the University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont from 2004 ‐ 2010. Sowah has taught music in Ghana and Nigeria and played with the Ghana National Symphony Orchestra.  In 2015, he received the “Distinguished Yale Music Educator Award”.

Sowah enjoys an active performance career. In May 2000, he performed in Carnegie Hall (New York City) as a soloist in David Fanshaw’s African Sanctus. He has performed extensively in the United States, Africa, and also in Asia, Europe, South America and    the Caribbean. As a composer, Sowah has compositions for Orchestra, Symphonic/Concert Band, Choirs, African Music Ensembles and works that combine above ensembles. He has produced three CD's and three books. Sowah presents a series of workshops for music teachers every summer including World Music Drumming,   University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan and the University of St Thomas.  In addition ,he presents clinics, workshops, and residencies at colleges, elementary, and secondary schools in the United States as well as Europe, Asia, South America and the Caribbean.

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Debbie Montague

Debbie Montague, a music educator for over forty years, has taught elementary and junior high band, choir, guitar, drama, and general music. She holds the DMA in Music Education from Boston University and currently teaches at North Creek High School, in Bothell, WA. Prior to her new position, Debbie taught Music at Kenmore Jr. High where her African Music Ensemble, “Beat of the Heart,” performed at concerts, community gatherings, and celebrations, including a clinic at the International Cultural Diversity in Music Education (CDIME) Conference (2008). In 2010, Debbie presented a workshop on Ghanaian music at the CDIME conference in Sydney, Australia. On tour in Beijing, China (2003), her Wind Ensemble performed “Nyamo,” a commissioned work incorporating an African Music ensemble in the traditional concert band. 

Debbie presents sessions at seminars, workshops, and conferences at the state, regional, national, and international level. Many of her presentations focus on the World Music Drumming Curriculum and its benefits for the middle school student, with emphasis on the at-risk student.  Believing in the education of the whole child, Debbie’s articles “The Importance of Music Education in the Middle School Curriculum,” (2008) and “Music for All,” (2015) advocate for the importance of hands-on, activity based general music curriculum for all children.  In 2014, Debbie was inducted into the Washington Music Educators’ Hall of Fame.

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Aideen Nolan

Aideen Nolan was awarded her B.A. (Hons) degree in Music, as well as diplomas in Violin Performance and Teaching, from Birmingham Conservatoire of Music in the United Kingdom.

Having taught for many years in her native Ireland, Aideen moved to the Netherlands in 1992 to take up a post at the International School of Amsterdam as an elementary music specialist. Aideen has specialized in Early Childhood education (ages 2-5years) since the start of her teaching career, and currently teaches K-grade 2.

.Aideen uses the WMD curriculum in teaching 2-8 year olds as a core part of her music curriculum, which is suited to the multicultural student body of her school. She also teaches ‘World Drumming’ classes to adults, private violin lessons and is a member of, and support teacher in, an adult Marimba group.

Throughout her career Aideen has attended numerous professional development courses during summer vacations in both the UK and USA, focusing on Kodaly music education, ‘Colourstrings’ and completed her Orff certification in San Francisco School in 2012.  She continues to find joy, inspiration and motivation from attending P.D. courses throughout the school year and during the summer months as well as playing violin in a (serious) amateur orchestra.

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Michelle Quigg

Michelle Quigg has been a music educator on the east end of Long Island (NY) since 1992. Her degrees include a Bachelor of Music Education from SUNY Fredonia, and a Master of Music Education at SUNY Stony Brook with continued studies in West African drumming and dance.  Currently, Michelle is the Director of Music at the Remsenburg- Speonk School District, where she teaches general music as well as conducts a Drumming/Marimba Ensemble, Beginning Band, Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble and Chorus.

Michelle implemented the World Music Drumming Curriculum into her general music classes, after attending the 1999 – 2005 World Music Drumming Workshops. In 2005, she joined the teaching staff specializing in the integration of movement, dance and drumming.  She is active in her county music organizations and annually serves as chairperson and conductor of an all-county festival drum ensemble with middle school students from 20 school districts. As a clinician Michelle has worked with music educators and students throughout New York and nationwide; presenting workshops, consulting, mentoring and sharing her experiences as a traveler, musician, and choreographer.  She has also served as an artist in residence at the Amsterdam International School for the Arts in the Netherlands.

“Feel the Rhythm of the Earth, Dance the Song of Life” -anonymous

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Josh Ryan

Josh Ryan is Professor of Music at Baldwin Wallace University where he teaches percussion.  A versatile performer and clinician, Josh is an active musician in many genres.  He has been the principal timpanist of the Madison Symphony Orchestra and has also performed with the Maryland Symphony, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Peabody Symphony Orchestra, and the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. 

Josh has studied African music in Ghana, West Africa with the Agbeli family and is also a student of Valerie Naranjo.  He has traveled to Cuba to study with Regino Jimenez and Daniel Alfonso.  He is also a long-time student of Afro-Cuban percussionist Michael Spiro and has co-authored a book with him.  A frequent clinician in non-Western styles of music, Mr. Ryan teaches workshops for music educators throughout the country.

Josh is co-founder of the Africa→ West Percussion trio, an ensemble in residence at Baldwin Wallace University.  The trio recently released its third CD, Aburé, and performs in a variety of venues (  Active in new music featuring percussion instruments, Josh regularly performs as a solo marimbist/percussionist and chamber musician and has worked with notable composers including Steve Reich, Christopher Theofanidis, Joseph Schwantner, and Chen Yi.

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Will Ulrich

Will Ulrich received his Bachelors Degree from UW-Milwaukee in 1995. In 2011 he earned his Masters Degree in Curriculum & Instruction from Concordia University-Wisconsin. Will  joined the World Music Drumming teaching staff in 2013. 

Will has been teaching general music in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, since 1997 at the elementary, middle and high school levels. He also teaches World Music at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee. Will designs music classes specifically to teach students about world music. The cross-cultural curriculum is aimed at raising students' listening skills, respect, cooperation, teamwork and self-discipline through African, Caribbean and Latin drumming, movement and song. When he is not teaching music, Will enjoys making instruments for the classroom, performing throughout his community, as well as writing and recording music. He also enjoys camping and fishing with his wife and son.

Will Ulrich facilitates workshops in cooperative teamwork, multiculturalism through music, ukulele, drumming, and instrument building throughout the United States.

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