Percussion, Passion, Perfection, Groove Inc teaches kids more than just drums


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Sioux Falls is gaining a reputation as a place that produces talented drummers. A good portion of that credit may lie directly on the shoulders of a Sioux Falls man with a passion for teaching. Pete Hanson started Groove Inc, a percussion Academy that has grown to be the largest youth drumming organization in the midwest.

Groove started in 1997 as a summer drumline. It has now grown to more than a hundred members ranging in age from 4 to 22 years old.

Being a member of Groove is hard work, but for the kids, the rewards include patience, teamwork and a sense of accomplishment. You don’t have to be a drummer to join, in fact, Hansen says the sooner he can begin teaching, the better.

“Obviously Groove teaches kids how to drum, but the activity is much more about building young people into adults that are trustworthy and hard-working,” said Pete Hansen.

One of those young people is Tyler Klusmann, he started with Groove as a 7th grader, and now after 10 years away, he’s come back as an instructor.

“He goes above and beyond for this organization as you can see they have the bus, the trailer they travel to thousands of miles every year and Pete is a great guy he is fun to work with,” said Klusmann.

Tom Hanson: You’ve got to have a lot of passion?

“Yeah, he does passion maybe a little bit crazy but he gets the job done, and knocking out drummers Sioux Falls has almost become known for their drummers and their drumming community and I think Groove has a lot to do with that,” said Klusmann.

Tyler says he made lifelong friendships in Groove.

On the side of the group’s trailers, you will see the words, Percussion, Passion, Perfection.
Stretching some members beyond drums, down the hallway we heard a different sound.

This is a Marimba, a percussion instrument developed in Mexico.

There are also different kinds of drums to master in Groove, from base to snare to quads.

One of the youngest members is Amaya Collins.

“Pete wants me to learn how to do this, not that, cause then I’d play backward,” Collins said.

Her mom Tammy says she is thrilled Amya has found something that has captured her focus.

“She’s a very energetic and spunky gal so patients is a good thing,” said Tammy Collins.

Tom Hanson: And this has been teaching her patience?

“Yes, timing she just seems to do really well with timing and paying attention, she really pays attention to Pete, so it’s been good,” said Tammy.

“It would be boom, click, boom click,” said Amaya demonstrating her technique.

“To have someone to play drums and be that excited about it’s like super, that’s why I do it, so to see someone else, its kind of like you have this connection you can’t explain to other people that don’t have it, you and she both understand this drumming thing,” said Hansen.

Groove has programs for different age groups. Spend any time around Pete and it’s obvious he loves teaching.

“When it comes to drumming I’ve created this thing called the ABC’s just like in preschool. So A is always start slow, B is big and loud, and C is count out loud,” said Hansen.

His method is designed to take the frustration out of learning and make it fun.

“The slogan we have is if you can’t say it you can’t play it, we make kids say everything and then play everything,” said Hansen.

Groove has a program called no drummer left behind, they provide area schools with equipment and instruments when needed.

“For instance, O’Gorman High School needs some extra keyboards, so we’ll take over some marimba and vibraphones, Hartford needs a marimba we’ll take an instrument over there, West Lyon needs and instruments we’ll take some stuff over there,” said Hansen.

Groove is expanding in several ways, they are adding a parent drum line and a piano curriculum
Pete says people have already donated 12 pianos for the kids to play.

The ultimate goal is to build their own building at the Sanford Sports Complex to put percussion on the same playing field as other activities that help develop teamwork, discipline, and confidence in young people.

Groove is holding an open house Tuesday, October 12 at 6:30 p.m. at the Armory at the Sioux Empire Fairgrounds, everyone is invited. The address is 100 North Lyons Blvd.

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