Recent Events & Articles (Our blog)


  • Diversity, peace, and unity – drumming at the University of North Florida

    Diversity and unity were at the heart of the University of North Florida’s International Day of Peace event on September 21st, 2018.  Here are some activities we focused on for our drumming session.

    Highlight our common ground and diversity

    We started off with a short activity called “Rumble If.”  The facilitator (or a participant) asks a yes or no question.  If the answer is yes, participants rumble (play a drum roll) on their drums.  I always say this is an excellent way for the group to get to know one another and break the ice.  We find out things we have in common and what makes us unique.

    For example, some questions highlighting diversity and inclusion might include:

    • Rumble if you’re originally from Florida
    • Rumble if you were born in another state/country
    • Rumble if you’re a vegetarian
    • Rumble if you have any brothers or sisters
    • Rumble if you’re the oldest/youngest in your family
    • Rumble if you’ve experienced any stress this week
    • Rumble if you’re a Jags (insert city-specific sports team here) fan

    Set intentions

    Next, we did something called Rhythm Naming.  I invited participants to think of a focus word or goal for the session, or for the rest of the day.  They could focus on a word or phrase such as “reducing stress” or “meeting new people.” After deciding on a word, each person played a representation of that word on their drum.

    People chose phrases such as “peace on earth,” “love is a language,” “smile,” and “go away stress!” And, the rhythms they played on the drum to represent those words showed off their creativity.

    The universal heartbeat

    After that, we got into the meat and potatoes of the session – the drum jam.  The jam is the opportunity for participants to really tap into their creative side and also tune into the others in their group.  We encourage everyone to “play whatever you want as long as it makes us sound good!”  We achieve that by listening to others and figuring out how our rhythm fits in with others’.  But first, we started off with a heartbeat – playing the rhythm of our hearts (“lub-dub” or “boom boom”) and gradually adding in other sounds to explore the rhythm further.  Playing this rhythm solidifies the theme of commonality – we’re all human, we all have a heartbeat, no matter who we are or what we believe.

    Pieces of 8

    Finally, this little game allowed us the chance to see how the rhythm changed the more sounds we added to it.  Participants started off by choosing a number between 1 and 8 (everyone chose their own number), and then they played one “boom” every time they heard their number during the counting aloud.  Then, they chose two numbers to play during the 8-number cycle, doubling the sound that we heard.  Afterward, we talked about what it meant to contribute (even in some small way) to the outcome of the whole.

    We ended the session with a “pair and share,” an opportunity to people to partner up and talk about their favorite parts and takeaways.

    Would you like to offer a unifying drum circle to your group or organization?  Get in touch with us!

     

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  • Teambuilding Icebreakers and why they work – kicking off a successful event with Brooks Rehabilitation

    “ Just Add Rhythm did a fantastic job opening up our leadership conference. The activity helped to get everybody motivated and excited for the rest of the day…they did a great job incorporating our Rethink Leadership theme into the icebreaker activity helping to frame the rest of the conference for our management team.” – Kirssis Rullan, Brooks Rehabilitation Could your organization benefit from a teambuilding icebreaker?  If so, these activities can be the perfect way to kick off the day with energy and smiles. Recently we offered Brooks Rehabilitation a teambuilding icebreaker for their annual managers retreat.  Their goal was to provide their attendees with a high-energy activity right off the bat.  They wanted their group fired up.  And, they wanted to encourage attendees to think outside the box and look at ideas and concepts from a new perspective. Rhythmic activities that include drumming and hand percussion are the perfect fit for this type of event.  Here’s why:

    Drumming and rhythm are highly accessible

    Most people can play a drum with little instruction needed.  And unlike other instruments, it’s pretty simple to get a satisfying sound out of a drum.  Even babies know how to hit a drum! Accessibility means you can get people having fun right off the bat.  Our motto is “zero to drumming in 60 seconds!” So, no complicated explanation means more time for fun.

    It’s a naturally high-energy activity

    You’ve spent months planning an event for your organization.  So what better way to make sure everyone gets psyched about it?  Teambuilding icebreakers that use rhythm are always high-energy.  The drum rolls, the playful interactions, and the sound of hundreds of people drumming are infectious.  And the smiles will continue throughout the day!

    It highlights the theme and messages for your event

    Drumming together creates opportunities for workplace metaphors.  The theme for Brooks Rehabilitation’s event was “re-thinking leadership.”  Our icebreaker incorporated that theme in several ways. First, we invited people to the front to lead the group.  Then, we divided into 4 groups, each playing a different rhythm, and played different combinations of those rhythms together.  Finally, we created a rhythm out of the phrase “think outside the box” and invited people to play their own version of it.  As they played, they noticed how their rhythm fit in with everyone else’s around them. Whether you’re planning a conference, retreat, or meeting, we’re confident you’ll want to include a high-energy teambuilding icebreaker into the mix.  Check out photos in the gallery below, and take a look at the recording of our Facebook Live video from the event (make sure to check out the second video as well)! Interested in an icebreaker for your next event?  Reach out to us!
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  • Team-building fun with non-profit Angelwood Jax!

    Team-building and wellness – these are the top two objectives Just Add Rhythm focuses on whenever we facilitate a rhythm event.

    So the employees of Angelwood, a Jacksonville-based non-profit, were in for a treat.  They experienced an hour of connection, stress management, and teamwork during their staff training day.

    Angelwood “assists families in caring for the special needs of their loved ones through a variety of programs suited to each person’s individual goals.”  They offer residential- and community-based programs to help each person live his or her best life.

    That’s why I felt a strong connection to their mission and vision. We’re all about helping people live their best lives!

    Check out the pictures below and watch the video clip of one of the energy-charged activities on our YouTube channel!

    The process

    Just Add Rhythm has a 5-step process to ensure we’re helping our clients reach their objectives through rhythm:

    1. Drumroll – smiles & laughter
    2. Relax & refresh – wellness exercises and stretching
    3. Chatter – learning to communicate & listen using drums
    4. Drum jam – create some groovy beats together!
    5. Creating connections – rhythmic games & partner convos to solidify concepts

    Highlights

    Participants commented after the workshop what they took away from it, including:

    • “It’s important to breathe”
    • “People working together can sound as one”
    • “It is remarkable what a strong leader can do even with people who are very different”

    Putting it into action

    At the end of each team-building session, I invite participants to partner up and discuss what they learned, and how they will apply it to their work and/or personal lives.  And that is always my challenge to the group – take action!  Empower yourself to be compassionate, to listen deeply to others, to take care of yourself, and to listen to yourself.

    We’d love to drum with your group!  Reach out to us for a brief consult!

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