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Kids rock out at Dover Library

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A volunteer from the crowd helps show dance moves to the kids as Norton plays the drums. Photos by Daniel Curtin

A volunteer from the crowd helps show dance moves to the kids as Norton plays the drums. Photos by Daniel Curtin

By Daniel Curtin
Hometown Weekly Reporter

Young kids were drumming up at storm at Dover Library as Craig Norton came to teach them about music and drums last Thursday evening.

Dozens of kids sat in a drum circle with different percussion instruments, like shaker eggs, tambourines, and an assortment of various drums. The event not only gave the kids the chance to play the instruments, but also to learn about where the drums came from.

Nancy Hodys, who attended the event with her grandson and granddaughter, initially didn’t know the drum circle was going on - but she was happy that she was there.

“This is our first time to the Dover Library and I noticed this was going on. We were here for two hours and waited for the performance,” said Hodys. “It was well worth the wait. It was wonderful. This is the first program I attended, so I’m looking forward to anything else [the library] may offer.”

Norton, who has been working in music for about 20 years, didn’t initially start his career as a drum maven. Before Norton realized he could make a career out of his passion for music, he worked as an associate director at ESPN.

“My boss at ESPN was like: ‘You should go to one of these drum circles,’ because he saw me tapping on my desk all the time,” Norton said. “So I went and it was perfect … I just fell in love with it. I realized for the first time in my life that I could be a musician.”

Norton’s new career has taken him to as far away as Senegal in West Africa, but also throughout the United States - his travels have taken him from the South all the way to California. Norton now has about 120 percussion instruments and leads drum circles for both adults and children.

Even though leading drum circles with the kids is different than his sessions with adults, he finds that working with a younger audience can be rewarding in its own way.

“What’s great is I love to get parents playing with their kids,” Norton said. “Dancing with their kids out here, doing this stuff together … To see the kids shine is really the best part. I put them in charge. I give them the opportunity to be the leader.”

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