Strafford Learning Center News Artist Residency

Artist Residency



Music learning supports all learning.  It also strongly correlates with increased student engagement. For  students at the John Powers School, Charles Ott Academy, Rochester Learning Academy and HOPE School, engagement was at a maximum during a recent six-day SLC artist residency with multi-instrumental musician, performer and teaching artist Randy Armstrong.

Replete with a worldly variety of percussion, wind, and stringed instruments, Randy Armstrong captivated both students and staff members alike with a dynamic and immersive instructional experience.  Guided by the National Core Arts Standards, Randy infused his experiential instruction by connecting students to the cultural and historical significance of his instruments, and afforded students an opportunity to both create and perform music.  

The essential ingredient leading to universal student engagement rested upon the lure of a beating drum.  Highly acclaimed for his West African Drumming arrangements, Randy began and finished each session with a high-energy drum circle from which no student (or staff member) could resist from joining. The rhythmic sound of a dozen African drums thundering across the room captivated and inspired students to focus upon how equally important they were to the combined sound of the whole group.  And, as is customary with many great musical performances, the sessions came to an end with the participants “wanting more!”