Driscoll brought his case that was full of different dummies and let the kids learn the basics of ventriloquism. Photos by Daniel Curtin
By Daniel Curtin
Hometown Weekly Reporter
About 30 young children, along with parents and guardians, came to the Needham Free Public Library to see ventriloquist Kevin Driscoll on Monday, June 18.
Driscoll, a former band director at Marlborough Junior High School, entertained the kids with his different ventriloquist dummies and collection of drums. The kids learned how to use different types of drums while also learning a little about ventriloquism.
Samantha Riley, one of the parents in attendance, thought the event was fun for the kids - but unique, as well.
“I think it’s good that the kids get to do a lot of different things,” Riley said. “It opened up their eyes to different instruments, the way the dummies work, and [taught them] not to be afraid of [the dummies].”
Children got to learn about different drums, like the Irish bodhrán, Tahitian toeré, Trinidadian mini-steel drum, and many other percussion instruments, as they collaborated in one big jam session.
One of Driscoll’s puppets was Doug the Talking Dog, who wouldn’t bite the kids, but would try to grab a drumstick or tambourine from them while they played.
Part of the show even had volunteers coming up from the crowd to wear a ventriloquist face mask and play the part of the dummy.
Driscoll, who has taught music for many years, enjoys how his job allows him to combine three of his passions.
“This way I get to combine music, ventriloquism, and education. What an opportunity,” Driscoll said. “I get to do what I love, and I get to bring joy to the children. It’s amazing.”
Children’s Supervisor Paula Dugan helped make sure the event was a success. The event was held, in part, to help spread the word about the summer reading program, which kicks off on June 26 for children 12 or younger.
“It was wonderful to see so many children having fun, and our theme this year is music, so it fit in wonderfully with [that],” Dugan said.
In addition to learning about different drums, kids also learned about basic music terms, such as what a crescendo and a tempo are.
Walter Godoy, another parent in attendance, enjoyed watching his son play the drums. “I think it was amazing. My kid likes to play drums a lot. This was very fun for him,” he said.
“And it was very fun for me to watch him.”
Kids may register for Needham Library’s summer reading program at the Children's Desk, or by visiting https://wandooreader.com/needhamma/libraries-rock.