By LISA M. REED
FELCH - Elementary students in the Dickinson-Iron Intermediate School District were entertained this week by a nationally recognized children's motivational "edu-tainment" character.
Lisa M. Reed/Daily News Photo
Robert Gottfried, who goes by “Rob the Drummer,” plays the bongos during an anti-bullying program at North Dickinson County School. Gottfried presented the program to several area schools this week.
Robert Gottfried, better known as "Rob the Drummer," presented an anti-bullying program to K-6 students at North Dickinson County School.
"These are my drums and my way of speaking to you," said Gottfried, who presented his program in his bare feet.
Gottfried said when he is playing the drums, he feels he can be five different people at once. This is because he was using all his senses.
"I think it's rather interesting," he said. "If you want to be good at anything - drums, any musical instrument, sports - you have to practice."
Gottfried talked to the students about bullying, cyber bullying and illegal drugs and alcohol.
Students watched a video of a cartoon character with similar looks to Rob the Drummer role-playing a bullying situation.
"The next time you're going to give someone a hard time, think about what you would feel like on the receiving end," Gottfried said. "I am hoping you are the first generation not hurting someone else to feel good."
Gottfried added cyber bullying is where someone hides behind a computer and makes someone else feel horrible. He said students should pick a screen name that is not recognizable, not give away their personal information, and not let anyone online know where they live and who they are.
Gottfried also talked about celebrities and how they found what made them feel better.
"Michael Jackson danced like nobody on the planet. He practiced for hours every Sunday," Gottfried said. "That's why he was the best."
Gottfried also mentioned the late actor Health Ledger and basketball player Jeremy Lin.
"I am not thinking of the future or the past, but am in this moment right now," he said while drumming. "Try to find your own natural way to feel alive."
Gottfried has also jumped out of an airplane and went scuba diving to make himself feel alive.
"Natural talent is great, but you have to practice. Keep practicing, inspire the world," said the drummer who has been playing the drums since he was three years of age.
Students also did hand and eye coordination activities with the drummer.
They rubbed their tummies while patting the top of their head and looking at the presenter.
"You didn't need anything to make you go faster - no illegal drugs, alcohol or coffee - you got to do it with all you got," he said.
Students also made a video that got everyone moving.
Gottfried talked about everyday people just like the students who make it onto a VH1 video.
"For five minutes, the whole world is watching you. This is the thing that makes you feel most alive," he said.
Gottfried has appeared on Sesame Street, The Nickelodeon Network, MTV, Entertainment Tonight, Kids World, and is currently starring in Ariel, Zoey & Eli, Too.
Drake Hamilton, a first-grader at North Dickinson County School, was able to play Gottfried's drums and was given a set of drumsticks. He had asked a question of the drummer and even dressed in black pants, a white shirt and a black vest for the day's presentation.
Gottfried can be found on Facebook, myspace or at robthedrummer.com.
Rob the Drummer was also at Norway-Vulcan Area Schools, Woodland Elementary, Iron Mountain Schools and is scheduled to visit West Iron County and Forest Park Schools today.
Lisa M. Reed's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.