Nancy's passion for drumming runs strong, from teaching the basics of the djembe drum, facilitating large groups, to performing with other skilled drummers.
She began playing the djembe more than 10 years ago during her career as a special education teacher. She brought drumming to her students which quickly caught the enthusiastic interest of their general education peers. That was when Nancy realized the power of drumming as a means of inclusion. She quickly expanded, creating an all-school drumming program that served 250 students annually—INCLUDING students with special needs!The success of the school program motivated Nancy to create Djembe Jive, LLC.
Now in her retirement, Nancy weaves her 38 years of teaching into the drumming classes and workshops she offers to children, youth and adults. She provides a positive and stress-free environment for learning and expression, adapting the activities appropriately to the ages and abilities of participants. She offers classes, workshops, and drumming programs in a variety of settings and will customize the experience for the specific group. In addition, she and her Djembe Jive drummers are available to perform for private as well as community events.
Nancy is a Village Music Circle Certified Drum Circle Facilitator, a member of the Drum Circle Facilitation Guild and one of the selected participants in the America's "Train The Trainers" program taught by world-renowned Arthur Hull of Village Music Circles. Nancy will complete this certification program in early 2020.
Nancy believes that as we come together to drum, we develop a sense of community and camaraderie. She says, "We learn, we grow, and we bond. This experience is absolutely transformative."
Rhythm is the soul of life.
The whole universe revolves in rhythm.
Everything and every human action revolves in rhythm.
—Djembe Master Babatunde Olatunji
Let's Drum Now!
Instrument Inventory Examples
"Working with Nancy has been such a blessing to our students in Thompson School District. Nancy joined our team of Artists in Residence back in 2015. Her work has gone far beyond the classroom. Nancy and I worked together to obtain a Thompson Education Foundation Grant by implementing a Drumming Enrichment Program for K-12 students. As an artist Nancy has served as a facilitator/instructor working with students, Kindergarten - High School. Most recently she has worked with students of all special needs providing music therapy as a healing enrichment for their learning during the day.
Not only has Nancy worked in our classrooms but she partners extensively with the community. After a group of students worked with Nancy for 5 weeks her community drummers and our student drummers provided a class act performance at an annual Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration. Nancy's community outreach does not stop there. For three years now, she has worked with our students at a yearly Arts-Integration retreat out at Sylvan Dale Ranch in Loveland, CO. Over 150 students spend the day in the beautiful outdoors in the Big Thompson Canyon working with local artists to paint, drum and bask in the sun to some much-needed yoga relaxation and artistic expression. The benefits from having Nancy work with our students is endless. She has become part of their community. Students have learned to be supportive of each other no matter the skill level. Drumming has allowed our students to break down their barriers and it has provided inclusiveness for our classrooms. Drumming and dance brought the class together as a unified whole and engaged their mind and body, kinesthetically and intellectually. Nancy truly has been a gift to our young learners."
- Candice M. Andrews, Loveland Integrated School of the Arts, District LISA Administrator
Nancy has provided her Drumming program for the Loveland Recreation Department, Chilson Recreation Center for 6 years, and we are so happy she did! Nancy first began offering classes for the Recreation Department’s summer day camp for children ages 6-12 years of age. The children loved learning how to play the djembe drum! Every week for 4 weeks, she enlightened the day campers and they fell in love with the music. In addition to the day camp program, Nancy has offered adult, tiny tot, youth and teens classes, which all have been very successful. In her program, she provides the drums so the students can learn how to play the instrument without having to purchase the drum before they have decided if they want to continue. She continues to have quite student following as they enjoy Nancy as an instructor and friend. Nancy is always improving her personal skills by taking classes to improve her knowledge of drumming so she can share it in her classes. I personally have taken classes from Nancy and loved the experience and loved learning to play the drum with her.
I highly recommend Nancy as an instructor and performer!
- Gina DeBell, Recreation Coordinator, City of Loveland, Chilson Recreation Center
I joined Nancy’s Djembe Jive group over 2 years ago and have no regrets! It is a mindful activity that helps reduce stress, builds a sense of community and just plain fun to do. This is an intergenerational group of compassionate individuals who gather to learn and play drum rhythms under the leadership of Nancy. One of Nancy’s strengths is encouraging all drummers at all levels. She provides instruction within schools and communities. I have seen and volunteered with a middle school group of students that was diverse and inclusive. The level of support and cooperation was commendable. She is a passionate and knowledgeable instructor of drum rhythms. I am grateful to have found this group.
I had the wonderful opportunity to attend one of Nancy's drumming classes. I went as a provider for my friend with Down's. Another friend of mine was there, who has autism and there was another special needs young man there too! My two friends had the most awesome time!! What was so awesome about it was that each of us were unique in our rhythm interpretations, but at the same time we were in sync thanks to Nancy's skills and sensitivity to our group. I also found drumming to be almost meditative and it just had a wonderful effect on each one of us. You are awesome Nancy and we are blessed!
-Gwen aka Gwen's Care
As a videographer, I have had the pleasure not only of filming four of Nancy’s drum circles, but also of being a part of one, never having tried anything like it before. I had so much fun!
What I have seen time and again, and what’s so incredible, is that Nancy is so successful in getting both adults and children of all ability levels to join in and to succeed ...she really knows what she’s doing! Whether you’re a part of the circle, or enjoying the performance, it’s clear that she knows how to take it step by step, move forward, and then make it more challenging. She has a gift for doing this and a true love for her craft. The performances are always so impressive!
You can just see the joy both in Nancy and in her drum students. They love it! When Nancy facilitates, both the drummers and the audience get to experience something wonderful. She is truly amazing.
- Karen Fournier, Owner, Starstream Productions, LLC
I first encountered Nancy at the loveland drum circles. it was obvious that she was the most talented drummer in the group, and i was happy to learn that she was offering lessons. her work with the school kids is very impressive and her adult classes are well run, totally energizing, and great fun. if you are just looking to try something new or to advance the drumming skills you may have, i would recommend Nancy's classes for anyone.
This is just to let you know what a wonderful teacher Nancy is to our group!! I was just going to "try" it out, and had no intention of playing the drum for any length of time. She had said, it you try it you will love it............ I now own two drums and love it, all because of Nancy. Have a great Thanksgiving,
- Ina White, Loveland
I am a drumming student of Nancy's. She is an amazing instructor, bringing enthusiasm and passion to her classes. Her drum studio is filled with laughter and a lot of patience as we learn new material. I am an art intructor and work with adults. I attend my drum class on Monday evenings. When I'm there I'm able to focus on the beat and other thoughts and stresses just go away. I go home and go into a deep relaxing sleep with the drum beat still in my head. For the next several days I have new energy for teaching my art classes! When I first started Nancy's classes I was concerned that the arthritis in my fingers and hands would prohibit me from being able to drum. The opposite effect has been happening, the stimulation and blood flow to my hands has really improved the pain in my finger joints. I am thrilled at this unexpected benefit and have even purchased my own drum which I love.
- Vicky Russell
Adult drumming on a weekly basis is energizing, rewarding and fun. We get to experience the individual rhythms and how they fit together to make one song. We keep improving and everyone benefits!
- Mary Lu Lovett
The Loveland Public Library partnered with Djembe Jive doing Storyteller in the Park for a week in the summer of 2018. It was fun for children and their parents to learn about rhythm and beat and be able to join in with the drumming group to play and move. We read stories about drumming and then Nancy led the kids in percussion and movement for the last part of the hour. It was a great way to reinforce our theme of Library’s Rock!
- Cindi Pfeiffer, Elementary Age Librarian, City of Loveland
When we hired DjembeJive to perform at our professional event for approximately 75 guests, we didn’t know how truly wonderful they would be! DjembeJive’s performances are full of passion and talent! They are so good with interacting with the audience and being responsive to the specific audience’s needs... They are professional, flexible and so joyful to be around. We loved working with them!
- Haley Squires, Customer Service Library Aide, City of Loveland
Thompson School District R2J
Poudre School District
St. Vrain Valley School District
Longmont Community Arts
Loveland Downtown Partnership & Downtown Development Authority
City of Loveland Recreation Center
City of Loveland Public Library
Sustainable Living Association
City of Fort Collins Streetmosphere
The Bridge at Longmont
Grace Pointe Continuing Care
Private familes' celebrations