For Schools and Organizations

Professional Development

Music/Art that Educates

The Uncle Devin experience is about enacting change. The arts can make the most mundane moment enjoyable, and our educational programs combine history, personal growth, and self-awareness as a part of the experience.

We offer activities in multiple art genres, including music, dance, theater, drama, and visual arts. We invite you to learn more about our professional programs below.

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Musical Assembly

This music assembly takes students on a magical journey through the Land of Percussion that allows them to hear and see different percussion instruments while gaining an understanding of the history of percussion and why it is the oldest and most diverse forms of musical creativity. Uncle Devin will also introduce students to different genres of music while showing them how percussion instruments are the heartbeat of many of them.

(Sample Common Core connectionCCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.3.3 Ask and answer questions about information from a speaker, offering appropriate elaboration and detail.)

uncle devin show - assembly
DC Music Summit - RICM - Professional Development Image(1)

Racism in Children's Music: Liberating Music for the Black Child!

Viewed within the historical context of chattel-slavery and settler-colonialism, this workshop explores the history of racism in children’s music in the United States and abroad; how popular nursery rhymes continue to be used to reinforce inferiority complexes in children; and the cultural appropriation of African music in popular children’s movies.

This workshop includes videos of cartoons, songs, images, and provides extensive references for follow-up study.  It will discuss the role of negro spirituals as a tool for resistance by enslaved Africans and will provide practical solutions and resources to help parents, teachers, and guardians take back control of their children’s music listening experience.

The 3-S Percussion Method

Learning through Scraping, Shaking, and Striking

In cultures worldwide, exploration through percussion is a natural way of connecting children to the group and developing their motor responses. Furthermore, movement through music helps stimulate the brain and integrate the right and left hemispheres.

This workshop is designed to teach participants how to incorporate percussion instruments into the early childhood classroom and relate it to other areas of the curriculum. Uncle Devin shows how the musical process of shaking, scraping, or striking instruments can engage students in a creative process that connects the sounds and rhythm of percussion instruments with their desired learning objectives and classroom management.


Uncle Devin leverages his 25+ years of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) expertise as an investigator, mediator, and trainer of complaints under Title VI and Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act with his passion for the arts to address a significant void within the arts sector.

EEO Through The Arts is a project designed to educate the arts community about their rights and responsibilities related to discrimination within our industry through scenario-based professional development training for Teaching Artists, art organizations, and funders. Click Here to learn more.

Djembe Professional Development Workshop

Percussion instruments are often called the heartbeat of life. Using percussion instruments throughout the day can be a powerful tool in helping to reach learning objectives, as well as classroom management. In this professional development workshop, Uncle Devin will show teachers easy and fun ways to use a percussion instrument to engage students in a creative process that connects the sounds and rhythm of percussion instruments with your desired curriculum focus.

It is best if all participants have a Djembe drum; even a mini-Djembe would work. We can assist in recommending, ordering or renting Djembes.

Shaking Scraping Striking
Family Involvement

Uncle Devin’s Guide to Go-Go Workshop: Think Local, Crank Global

Go-Go Music is the official music of Washington, DC. However, many educators know very little about this indigenous genre, nor do they know how to use it in their classrooms.

Through this two-hour workshop, educators will learn:

1. The history of Go-Go music.

2. How to use instruments we shake, scrape, and strike to enhance curriculum and teach the art of Go-Go music.

3. How to make music from items within their environment. We will use the example of DC’s pioneering group, The Junkyard Band, as an example.

4. Go-Go music through body percussion, tables, and more – Making something out of nothing.