The Music Battery teaches kids responsibility through drumming
They’ve Got the Beat
By Kirsten Schofield
At an age when kids want to make as much noise as possible and bang on whatever makes their mom craziest, drums fit the bill. Kris Manning and Braeden Kershner want to harness that urge and use it for good, not evil. They founded The Music Battery, a charity offering school tutoring and music programing for middle school students.
The goal is to keep the kids focused on self-improvement and out of trouble.
“We start with doing homework. We sit down with them and figure out what they need to do,” Manning says. “Then we do calisthenics, get everyone jumping around. Only then do we start to play music. We want to educate their mind, body, and spirit.”
Manning is quick to point out that group activities like this have another benefit: “Drumlines are unique in the way they teach kids to be disciplined and work as a team,” she says.
“I heard that being in Mr. Kershner’s drumline will help you be successful, and I want to be successful,” says 11-year-old section leader Maliyeh-Day Sanders. She points to the emphasis on discipline and focus, but also musical skills like rhythm, timing, and movement she’s picking up. “One day I want to be a professional dancer, so I’m learning a lot from him,” she adds.
What Manning and Kershner are hoping to impart on their young corp is a sense of community, fun, discipline, and above all, a love of music.