McFall Students Rock Out With Cardio Drumming Program

As the lyrics  “we will we will rock you….” blasts across the gymnasium, students follow the rhythm as they pound the pool noodles on their yoga balls. Then they turn it up a notch, hopping, skipping and walking around the ball while still keeping the beat. They bend down to beat the plastic tubs serving as the base for the yoga balls, hold their hands high above their heads and wave the pool noodles over their heads.

It’s all part of a new program called Cardio Drumming introduced to students by PE teacher Michelle DeVries with help from a Thornapple Area Enrichment Foundation grant to purchase the yoga balls, tubs and pool noodles.

“They (the students) love it,” said DeVries. “They are just getting a great cardiovascular workout while having a blast drumming to the beat of the music.  They’re drumming, skipping, running, walking, doing jumping jacks all while drumming.”

As soon as one song stops, another one with an easy beat to follow starts with DeVries leading students in the musical workout routine.

DeVries said the exercise program is a good physical and mental activity for the students and can easily be adapted for abilities of all students in classes from Young 5’s to kindergarten and first grades. Studies have shown that cardio drumming helps improve gross motor skills, coordination, hand-eye coordination, and can help reduce stress and anxiety. 

“Not only is it great exercise, it is FUN!   The students are smiling, dancing and having fun while at the same time they’re increasing their heart rates and engaging muscle groups including core muscles in their stomach and muscles in their arms and legs.. They are moving and grooving - the entire PE time.,” she said.

DeVries was able to purchase a classroom set of yoga balls, plastic tubs and pool noodles (which are cut  in half to make the drumsticks)  with funds from the TAEF grant.