Drumming Around with Mike Arturi


This week we caught up with Teaching Artist Mike Arturi and chatted about his time at Kittson Central Elementary back in June. He was accompanied by Teaching Artists MN Joe and Aimee Bryant and together they filled the week with workshops including breakdancing, theater and drumming!

“Both Aimee and MN Joe were fantastic!” Mike reminisces. “Their talent was off the charts. We collaborated on the production of the end of program talent show. The final results were phenomenal and well received by the audience!”

Mike, a lifelong professional drummer, educator and currently drumming with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame band The Lovin’ Spoonful, spent the week inspiring 38 K-8 students as they built friendships though a drumming circle.

“I love the rhythm and unison of playing (drums). Hand drumming requires no previous experience and can be fun and fulfilling almost immediately. Once three basic skills of low and high tones on the drums and alternating hand patterns are understood, participants can play!”

For over 7 years, COMPAS has partnered with Kittson Central Elementary to bring a week-long camp filled with creativity from a variety of art forms. Each year is a little different. But the lasting impact stays the same. “The exemplary performance the students gave at the capstone event was truly a standout moment. We had a very complicated set up and even still, everyone performed flawlessly and at the highest level achieved throughout the entire four days of sessions.”


“This was one of those times when I really felt fortunate to be able to share my life’s work with others and I personally experience the benefit of possibly making a difference in some lives.”

It may be summer time but soon enough school will be back in session. We asked Mike why art should be integrated into school curriculum and the importance of creativity in the classroom.

“Art is interesting and fun, but it also ‘secretly’ offers tremendously valuable training and insight into life skills and disciplines needed in the big life skill of ‘learning’!”