Drum power stage

Drum Power

Drum Power is a drum and dance experience for young people where they can development new skills and explore African cultural traditions. Drum Power focuses on pillars of social-emotional learning including:

  • Discipline (Using my energy for good things)
  • Community (Supporting my own learning and the learning of others)
  • Leadership (Doing the right thing even when I have to do it by myself and especially when no one is watching)

We provide participants with an introduction to:

  • West African Traditional Drum & Dance
  • Afro-Cuban Drum & Dance
  • Afro-Brazilian Drum and Dance
  • Music/Dance Skill Development
  • Problem Solving
  • Practice as an Individual and Part of an Ensemble Community

Since 2001, Drum Power has served more than 3,000 young people in New York City and Madison, Wisconsin.

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African night performance

The Drum Power Process

Drum Power Fits School Needs

We work with your staff to tailor the Drum Power experience to meet your needs. Together, we collaborate to determine goals for Drum Power and identify outcomes that are most important to you. We assess the resources and equipment already available at your site, identify specific developmental needs of all participants, share possible lesson plans and assessment strategies, and explain requirements for successful implementation.


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Materials & Facilities Needed for Drum Power

  • Instruments
    • West African-Djembes: One per participant and two dunduns
    • Afro-Cuban Congas: One per two participants, claves, cow bells, palitos
    • Brazilian-Surdos: One repenique, one timbau, agogo bells
  • Room to accommodate participants, instruments, and chairs
  • Storage space for instruments and materials
  • Chalkboard
  • Music Player
  • Journal/Notebooks

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Drum Power performance

Drum Power Numbers

Drum Power is a youth leadership program. Young people get an opportunity to learn West African Traditional, Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian drumming. They also learn the cultural/historical significance to build self-esteem and self-confidence. They learn through discovering the rewards of discipline, teamwork, creativity, responsibility and self-respect. These elements are the foundations of Drum Power. The outcomes are respect for others, leadership, and positive contributions to the world.

41 Schools & Community Centers

3360 Student Musicians

6 Teaching Artists

17 Years in Production

Drum Power Leadership

Yorel Lashley


Director of Arts



225 N. Mills Street
Suite #264
Madison, WI 53706

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The UW Community Arts Collaboratory is dedicated to bringing the arts to underserved rural and low-income communities. 

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