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Recent Events & Articles (Our blog)


  • A stress reduction icebreaker for the Bridge to Business event

    You have to give a presentation in a half hour that highlights your business, your value proposition, and everything you’ve been working toward.  Judges from local companies will be evaluating your pitch and deciding if they’d like to do business with you.  So how are you feeling?  Need a little stress reduction?

    If you answered stressed or anxious, you’d be in good company.  On November 13th, about 60 small businesses and entrepreneurs in the Jax Chamber’s Jax Bridges program had the opportunity to pitch – and many of them were a ball of nerves.

    So what did we do?  Well, a drum circle, of course!  Just Add Rhythm brought the drums to shake out the nerves and get people feeling relaxed and confident in their ability.  Want some stress reduction before your next big event?  Here are some benefits the participants experienced:

    Stress reduction

    Well, duh – that was the main goal!  But why was it effective?  Because it got the participants out of their heads and into their bodies.  When you’re playing a drum, you need to be fully present and in the moment – no looking at your phone or glancing at your note cards one more time.  You focus on the task at hand and keep the beat with those around you.  This usually helps distract participants from their nerves.

    Empathy

    Speaking of distraction, when we start looking around us and matching our beats with that of others, we start to listen more deeply to the sound being created.  Then we start to figure out what others need from us – what we have to contribute to the sound of the whole group.  This helps a lot with the stress reduction as a result.

    Physical activity

    Lastly, we knew we’d be sitting down listening to everyone’s pitches for a good two or more hours.  Wouldn’t it be nice to get in some movement before then?  To warm up our bodies, feel comfortable in our skin, and practice our confident postures?

    By the time the pitches began, everyone was more calm, cool and collected.  Half of us went in one room to pitch to half the judges, the other half in the other room.  In my room, right before we began, someone asked if I could play my drum again to help calm the nerves.  We laughed, we cheered for each other, and we all went up and crushed it.

    Is your group or team doing a presentation and would like some help quelling the nerves before the big event?  Contact us to talk about a stress reduction icebreaker!

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  • An Afternoon of Teamwork and Energizing Activities at the Mayo Clinic

    An Afternoon of Teamwork and Energizing Activities at the Mayo Clinic

    We love to work with professionals on teambuilding and teamwork activities. On November 10th, we drummed at the Humanities in Medicine Symposium event hosted by the Mayo Clinic. The aim of this symposium was to showcase:

    • The impact of arts and humanities programs on patient outcomes and quality of care
    • Innovative and unique arts in healthcare programs in the context of academic research
    • The role of the arts and humanities in medical education core competencies and wellness of healthcare practitioner

    The drumming session was a post-lunch energizer that focused on fun teamwork activities.  We also highlighted some of the themes of the day and what people were taking away from all the sessions they had attended.  During the event, we were able to tackle quite a few of our favorite drumming and teamwork activities including….

    Drum Jam Teamwork Activity

    We had a drum jam where we played the rhythm of our heartbeats. We also created rhythms about key takeaways the attendees got from their earlier morning sessions. One attendee mentioned the importance of reflecting on and sharing one’s unique story. 

    Rumble Ball Teamwork Activity

    Next we played a rhythm game called Rumble Ball to demonstrate the accessibility of rhythm to all ages and populations.  The facilitator throws a ball in the air and while it’s airborne, everyone rumbles on their drums.  When the facilitator catches it, everyone stops.  With a high ceiling, you can throw really high and get some energetic rumbles.  Participants took turns being the leader and creating rhythm patterns with the starts and stops of the rumbles. 

    Rhythmic Breathing

     Finally we ended with a relaxing rhythmic breathing exercise, one of our favorites to share.  It encourages participants to align their breathing with a gentle but rapid tapping on their laps to take deep, mindful breaths.  It slows the heart rate and helps relax and re-energize.

    Outcomes of the Teamwork Activities

    One person commented they felt “comfortable but energized” at the end of the exercise.  Another person commented, “what was most powerful was that the session allowed collective energy coming together and also autonomy.”  This is our aim with rhythm experiences – participants discover their connection with others around them while also empowering themselves to discover the rhythm within!

     

    How can we add rhythm to energize your conference or event? We would love to partner with you. Contact Us Today!   You can learn more about the Mayo Clinic in Florida HERE and to learn more about the symposium you can click HERE

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  • Holistic Wellness – drumming and the healing process after a loss

    People who have experienced the loss of a loved one need to take care of their well-being.  Holistic wellness encompasses not just physical health, but also mental and emotional health.

    Unfortunately, loss seems to be pretty much all around us these days.  And we need a lot of tools in our toolbox when learning to cope after a loss.  Drumming was one of those tools at a recent bereavement camp for children and youth through Haven Hospice.

    Holistic wellness during times of grief

    Actually, they held two camps – one in Orange Park and one in Gainesville.  At each camp, the kids got to experience a variety of fun activities designed to take them through the grief and coping process.  Activities included:

    • “Grief Gator” and “Sad Shark” pinatas
    • A “worry box” where they could write down their worries and anxieties
    • Therapeutic play time outdoors among nature
    • A therapeutic miniature horse named Magic to whom the kids could tell their secrets
    • A therapeutic drum circle, of course!

    The camp organizers did an amazing job creating a day for the kids to process their grief in a way that made sense to them – through art, rhythm, candy, nature, animals, or writing.  Some activities were social and some were introspective.  Some were active, and others were more passive.

    The drum circle

    Our drum circle was a bit of both sides.  Kids (and volunteers and staff) had the chance to play the name of a loved one on their drum and explain why that person was special to them.  Then we pictured ourselves transforming from caterpillars to butterflies.

    Next, everyone learned to make up their own rhythms on the drums, focusing on the theme of transformation.  Kids got to lead the group or simply stand in the middle of the circle and hear the support of the whole group wash over them.

    And at the end, we added in some hand percussion instruments (shakers, bells, wood blocks) to create a relaxing soundscape together.

    How does it help?

    It’s good to approach the healing process with a variety of tools depending on your personality and mood state.  Studies show drumming can help work through grief because it facilitates bonding and group support.  Also, it helps release those feel-good hormones that boost your mood.  And, the mindfulness component of drumming requires you to be present the whole time.  This allows you to put aside your worries temporarily, so that you’ll be better prepared to deal with life’s challenges afterward.

    Would you or your organization benefit from a therapeutic drumming experience?  We’d love to hear from you.

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