Summer ended with a bang at the Putnam County Library‘s summer reading awards ceremony! We added a little rhythm before the young readers accepted their awards for a job well done. It was exciting to see so many families come out in support of their children reading.
As we’ve done all summer, again we focused on three key areas during the drumming:
Listening – participants learned to listen to the rhythm and adjust their volume and speed to match that of their fellow drummers
Leadership – participants had an opportunity to lead the group in volume changes and grouping cues
Communication – participants learned about verbal and non-verbal communication and the importance of being aware of what leaders are communicating
It’s encouraging when the parents, grandparents and other family members participate in the drumming, for two reasons:
They show an interest in their children’s activities and model appropriate and engaging behavior for them
It’s a chance for them to bring out their inner child and have some relaxing fun too!
Check out the pictures in our gallery below to see some of the fun we had!
Do you know of an organization that would benefit from adding a little rhythm into their operations? Contact us and we’ll design a program that fits your needs!
This summer, you may have noticed lots and lots of posts about our drumming programs in libraries. Bet you didn’t even know you could drum in a library!
Our library programs are full of fun and games but they’re also serious business. Here are three skills we introduced this summer, sneakily disguised amidst all the games:
Oh, how important it is to be a skilled listener in life. It doesn’t matter what your career path is, you have to listen to people every. single. day. You need to be able to listen carefully and empathetically to family members, friends, clients, customers, supervisors, co-workers, and even strangers (people like to talk to me a lot).
So in our youth drumming programs, we focus a LOT on listening to others, both musically and verbally speaking. Participants learn to listen to the rhythms they’re playing and determine whether their part is blending with the rest of the group, or whether it needs to be adjusted – a good lesson to learn at any age. They also learn to listen to others’ comments and ideas, and give them careful consideration – will the idea work? will it sound good? will everyone be able to easily follow along?
By listening carefully to others, we learn to keep an open mind and heart. We show respect, empathy, compassion, and encouragement.
It’s important for kids to have multiple meaningful opportunities to be a leader throughout their childhoods. During our drumming programs, we offer plenty of opportunities to lead the group in various ways:
Leading the group in start and stop cues
Leading the group in volume cues (i.e., how loud or soft to play)
Dividing groups into smaller groups and deciding when each should play
Assuming a leadership role in games that include props such as a ball, rubber duck, plastic spot, or cards
Being a leader helps empower kids, making them feel confident, and encouraging them to set up the group for success through clear signals and directions.
Communication goes hand in hand with listening and leadership, but it’s so important I decided it needed to be its own category. During each part of the drumming program, we focus on both verbal and non-verbal communication. At the beginning when we talk about the benefits of drumming, kids learn to share their ideas and listen to others’ ideas. And then at the end, we reiterate that by reviewing the physical and mental benefits of drumming.
Kids also get multiple opportunities to share their feelings, memories and experiences throughout the program – both through speaking as well as drumming.
Because a bulk of the program is the drum jam which can be sound-intense, we emphasize the importance of participants communicating with each other through non-verbal cues and hand signals. This demonstrates a variety of communication techniques to kids which can be beneficial to their development.
See it in action
Check out jam sessions from some of our libraries this summer!
Summer is in full swing! The dog days are upon us. Beat the heat by beating on a drum this summer in the air-conditioned comfort of your local library!
Below is a list of branches in Northeast Florida, Southeast Georgia, and South Florida we’ll be drumming at for the rest of the summer – hope we see you there!
As always, no experience is necessary to participate and have fun. We bring all the drums!
Summer drumming in July
We’ll be offering a special “rhythm and wellness” program for families at the Jax Makerspace on Wednesday, July 11th, 2-3 pmat the Jacksonville downtown library branch. The event is part of JMS’s current exhibit “Prescribed Expression: Relief in Healing Arts.” We’ll focus on the research that supports rhythm and wellness, including physical, mental, and social-emotional health.