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With Its Focus On The Drums And History Of Iraq, The Roots Of Rhythm: Special Edition Adds An Important Chapter To The Classroom Study Of World Drumming.

The Percussion Marketing Council is proud to announce an exciting, new addition to its groundbreaking Roots of Rhythm world drumming classroom education program: Roots of Rhythm: Special Edition. This extraordinary, sixteenth Roots of Rhythm chapter features the daf from Iraq and was inspired by a peace-building mission to the war-weary Kurdish region of northern Iraq undertaken in the Fall of 2008 by world-renowned music therapist and drum circle facilitator Christine Stevens and Roots of Rhythm author and ethnomusicologist Dr. Craig Woodson.

"I was originally asked to bring drum circles to northeastern Kurdistan by an American conflict mediation specialist working in Iraq," says Stevens. "During the trip we learned about the important role that drumming plays in that part of the world. One of the drums we discovered in Iraq, the daf, is a frame drum that has been used throughout the region for centuries in religious practices and spiritual ceremonies. Through our efforts, the daf became an instrument of peace."

"By establishing a connection between playing drums and building peace, we learned that the drum can be used for physical and psychological rehabilitation as well as a tool to reduce the tensions and barriers between people of different cultural, religious, social, territorial and ethnic backgrounds. It is amazing that something as simple as a drum can have such far-reaching, life-changing results- not just in the Middle East but in the U.S. and around the world."

Dr. Woodson adds, "The part of the world we visited is an ancient land inhabited by an ancient people where, despite a long history of oppression and devastation, their traditions and passion for drumming have survived throughout the centuries. Considering the importance of this area in the world today, and the historic importance of this drum, the Special Edition adds a new element of relevance to the Roots of Rhythm curriculum. By studying this lesson students and teachers will gain a better appreciation of Iraq, its people and its drumming."

Along with the countries and customs of this rich and relevant Middle East region, the daf lesson can also be used in the classroom to teach the theoretical and practical application of conflict mediation and peace-building. The Special Edition includes references to the concepts of teamwork, cooperation, discipline, collaboration, consideration of others (aka "the golden rule"), community service and the importance of individual contributions towards a common goal throughout its pages.

The bonus chapter features general information on the geography, history and culture of both Kurdistan and Iraq as well as descriptions and examples of their drums, music and rhythms. Also included is a discussion of the daf's development and influence on other cultures plus authentic and play-along musical examples, a recommended reading list, a student activity sheet and a tutorial on classroom instrument making.

Roots of Rhythm: Special Edition is intended to be used in conjunction with Roots of Rhythm, the popular interdisciplinary music and academics curriculum that integrates world drumming with core academic subjects in upper elementary school classrooms. The Special Edition chapter, resources and audio and video examples, along with complete Roots of Rhythm content and support material, can be found at online at www.rootsofrhythm.net.

Roots Of Rhythm is sponsored by the Percussion Marketing Council with major funding from NAMM. For further information, please go to www.rootsofrhythm.net or contact the Percussion Marketing Council at PO Box 33252, Cleveland, OH 44133, tel: 440-582-7006,  www.playdrums.com.

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