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Recent Events & Articles (Our blog)

  • Team-Building: Leadership Jax Opening Retreat in St. Augustine, FL

    On August 18th, 2017, members of the Leadership Jax class of 2018 got a fun surprise at their opening retreat at World Golf Village in St. Augustine – a drum circle!  Since they had just spent the day getting to know one another, a team-building drum circle was just the thing to solidify connections.  Our 5-step process took them through some energizing drum rolls, a relaxing warm-up, a listening and communication activity, drum jam, and an activity to strengthen bonding.

    According to their website,  “Leadership Jacksonville educates, connects, and inspires diverse leaders to build and strengthen their communities.”  Since connection, diversity, and creativity are the cornerstones of Just Add Rhythm’s events, this was an ideal blending of organizational values.

    Activities included:

    • Give a Little, playing one’s neighbor’s drum and injecting upbeat energy into the group (short video here!)
    • Drum jam where participants made up their own rhythms and led the group using volume cues (short video here!)
    • Number Walk, which encouraged participants to think on their feet and adapt quickly to change (short video here!)

    Participants shared that the event helped them to relax and connect, and they also drew parallels between the Number Walk activity and examples of adapting to change in work-related and personal experiences.  Plus, they had tons of fun – just look at those smiles!

    Photo credit:  Steve Ramcharitar

    Interested in adding some rhythm to your team’s next event?

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  • Coming Up – Joyful Rhythms Workshop in Jax!

    Joyful Rhythms Workshop!

    When:  Wednesday, August 16th, 2017, 7-8 pm

    Where:  Balance + Transform Wellness Center, 4241 Baymeadows Rd., St. 1 & 2, Jacksonville 32217

    Workshop description:  

    Would you like to learn how to utilize sound to maximize your health and the enjoyment you get out of your life?  Joyful Rhythms is an interactive workshop which introduces drumming from a wellness standpoint.  This workshop includes drumming, mindful breathing, and lots of play in a method that is intended to help you relax, re-focus, and find joy and intent in your daily life.  No prior musical experience is necessary.  Drums and instruments will be provided, but you are welcome to bring your own.  Join us as we experience sound in a way that is sure to invigorate the senses!

    What you’ll walk away with:

    • Mindful rhythm & breathing techniques you can use at home, at work, and in the car
    • Simple tools for listening and communicating more empathetically and purposefully
    • Rhythm-based relaxation and focusing exercises you can do – even without drums
    • A sense of feeling energized and rejuvenated from being a part of a supportive and fun community

    Event Price: $15.00

    Drop-in cost:  $17 cash

  • Left Brain, Right Brain, Whole Brain – Rhythm & Hemispheric Synchronization

    Swimming.  Juggling.  Marching.  Ambidexterity.  Drumming.  What do all these activities and skills have in common?  They all utilize hemispheric synchronization, or both sides of the brain (left and right) working at the same time.  Most of us know that the left brain is reserved for more analytical skills, and the right brain for more creative skills, but did you know that bridging the gap between the two can offer a whole host of mental and physical benefits?

    From the Book of Good Practices:  “The two sides of the brain are connected by the corpus callosum, which transfers information back and forth between left and right hemispheres, allowing the brain to function as a whole unit.”

    What can hemispheric synchronization enhance?

    Various studies have been conducted to determine how hemispheric synchronization can have an effect on well-being.  Some have turned up results that include:

    • better sleep
    • more creativity
    • improved immunity
    • enhanced mental processing
    • reduced stress
    • less fatigue
    • potential reduction in addictive tendencies

    How can drumming facilitate left-right brain communication?

    Michael Drake notes that “the sound of drumming creates strong, repetitive neuronal firing in the auditory pathway that could block out other sensory stimuli.”  This repetition of sound can help to block out the left brain’s tendencies to continually process and evaluate environmental stimuli; in other words, it helps put you in a state of ‘in-the-moment being’ that allows you to momentarily dismiss your worries, concerns, stresses, and other busy thoughts.

    Drum circle facilitator Judy Atkinson leads a group in a rhythmic exercise which requires the participants to continually change their dominant hand from left to right in a rhythmic pattern in threes.  This challenges participants to shift away from their comfort zone of playing patterns with their dominant hand, which offers mental benefits and gives the brain a workout!

    This is especially the case when drumming with both hands, or with two drumsticks.  The continual left-right repetition of patterns helps strengthen the corpus callosum, the neural pathway between the left and right brains.

    Want to strengthen hemispheric integration?

    Drumming is a great way to do it!  You can also check out these activities that work with balance and bi-lateral movement.  The upshot is that you could experience improved mental and physical dexterity, which can improve your quality of life in the long term.  Pick up a drum today!


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