The students who attended the recent trip to Nordette, Haiti wanted more than to help build a new school complex. They also wanted to help build upon the culture’s tradition of music.

Says Upper School Science and Math teacher Chris Roads, who attended the Haiti trip, “Our experience of the people of Nordette is that music and the sharing of it is at the center of their culture. They celebrate, play, and pray with it. However, they have very few instruments in their village, and their condition is generally pretty poor. ”

Colorado Academy students build drums for villagers in Nordette, HaitiTo combat that, during a recent Service Learning day, students in the Upper School Innovation Lab got to work designing Cajun drum kits with plans to assemble them on-site with the children of Nordette. Using the tools and technology in the Innovation Lab, students designed the sides of the drum, the engraving, as well as the snare mechanism.

“The building of Cajun drums with the children of Nordette seemed like a great activity to share,” says Roads.

Once in Nordette, CA students and villagers assembled the Cajun drums, which are six-sided, box-shaped percussion instruments made out of thin plywood.

“Donating of the drums to the school,” says Roads, “allows the kids and the women of the village to enjoy playing music together as a part of their daily lives.”