A plastic, five-gallon bucket and a simple drum head. Some of the most basic things can make a world of difference—especially when it comes to making music. A College of Western Idaho (CWI) instructor recently received these items as a gift, and he has the CWI Foundation to thank. As one of this year’s Wishing Well Fund awardees, Jeff Davis is using the budget-friendly items to creatively teach music at CWI.
On this day, Davis is using the brand-new drums to teach his students about Native American music. As he demonstrates the beat count in front of his class, students repeat the sounds he makes on their own drums. After teaching them the measures, counts, and beats, he moves around the room; giving each drum group the opportunity to showcase the freshly-learned skills. Within minutes, the sounds one would hear at a Native American powwow fill the room.
Davis’ request for the drums is one of the nine applications that were approved for funding by the Foundation’s Scholarships and Grants Committee. He was awarded $470 to purchase a dozen drums for student and community use during music-making events. The money used to support projects like this comes from community partners and CWI employees who financially contribute to program support.
“I would like to express my gratitude to the CWI Foundation and to all the generous employees of CWI who made it possible for me to receive a grant through the Wishing Well program,” Davis said. “Knowing that there is that level of support in the hearts of so many people is both humbling and motivating.”
Davis says the drums, which will last for several years, will be used for educational and community purposes. Along with being used in a variety of music classes, they will also be used on campus during drop-in drum circles.