About Drumball

Drumball Demo @ C&C '19 Conference (San Diego, CA)

About Drumball

Who is it for?

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Drumball is designed to support the early literacy, social and emotional development of children (ages 4-7) via a rhythmic approach mediated by a digital embodied learning environment. The playground encourages children in their development through four levels (sounds, letters, words and phrases) as they learn to read, compose and listen to drum texts.

Enter Playground

Drum and write. At the same time.

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The Alphariddims code is easy to learn. We designed it to foster early literacy learning via rhythmic communication by offering a tight match between the way early learners use speech and gesture to produce meaning and how they can express those ideas through rhythm.

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The Urban Griot Collaborative is investigating digital drum talk as a medium to promote multimodal literacy and socio-emotional development of children. For a research overview, see the articles published in the Proceedings of the 2017 and 2019 ACM Conference on Creativity and Cognition. To find out more about the Urban Griot Playground, see the Parent Workbook and the Workshop Facilitator Guide.


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Our materials (cards, workbook and guide) are freely available to inspire teachers and parents around the world. You can support us by making a donation.


What is Drumball?
The Drumball meets the need for a new kind of embodied learning, one that leverages the communicative and health benefits of drumming.

It is an embodied learning environment designed to allow drum patterns to be turned into and used as letters, words and phrases.

Children as young as 3 have used it to practice a wide range of key literacy skills, from letter naming to word spelling.