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Recent Events & Articles (Our blog)


  • 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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  • May is Mental Health Month – let’s start drumming for wellness

    Taking care of your mental health is an ongoing process.  Many people hear the term “mental health” and they conjure up images of psychiatrists, medications, and even acts of violence that have been in the news.

    Mental health is so much more than that.

    • It’s adding 5 or 10 minutes into your day for some quiet reflection time.
    • It’s being willing to say “no” to requests once in awhile when you feel overwhelmed.
    • It’s recognizing personal limits and boundaries and making sure others respect them.
    • It’s finding opportunities to smile, laugh, sing, dance, and be silly with others.

    Wait…being silly is part of our mental health?

    Heck yeah it is!  As adults, we tend to lose the playfulness that was so inherent during our childhood – it’s no longer acceptable to sing out loud, skip around in a circle, or play hide and seek (unless you have a kid).  But having opportunities to be playful and silly boosts our creativity, and science backs this up.

    Drumming & mental health

    SO. MUCH. RESEARCH. Has been done in the past several decades about the connections between drumming, thought patterns, and mental health.

    If you want to know which populations can benefit from drumming programs, it might be better to ask which population hasn’t been studied yet – veterans, corporate employees, senior citizens, at-risk adolescents, adults in recovery, nursing students, school children – all have experienced the benefits of rhythm, and scientists have written about it.

    What rhythm can do for you

    Let’s go back to silliness.  As advances in technology bring us closer together, so too do they have the ability to isolate us.  Seeking out activities where we can directly with one another becomes more and more important, and connection often means bringing out that inner child.

    Drumming has this amazing ability to bring out our inner child, and to encourage us to interact with each other in simple, uncomplicated ways – a smile, a thumbs up, a whoop of encouragement – anything more would get lost in the roar of the drums.

    In addition, drumming helps our mental health in other ways:

    • it improves our ability to focus and concentrate on a task
    • it increases our memory capacity to help stave off dementia as we age
    • it enhances our problem-solving capabilities by encouraging creative expression

    The bottom line

    We need to take care of our mental health just as much as our physical health, and drumming offers a proven way to do it.  Do you want to help your organization connect better through rhythm?  Give us a call!

  • This St. Patrick’s Day, pick up a drum instead of a green beer

    It’s St. Patty’s Day again – time for shamrocks, the luck o’ the Irish, and a sudden interest in Celtic music and drumming.  But this year, instead of picking up a green beer and toasting your health, why not try picking up a drum instead?  You don’t have to know how to play the Irish bodhran to experience the health benefits of drums.

    Here are a few reasons to drum for your health this year.

    Unlike green beer, drums can help banish bloating

    Listen, who hasn’t experienced the occasional digestive issue?  But I’m talking stress-related issues here – those tummy problems that arise when you’re under lots of stress and experiencing anxiety.

    Drumming can play a big part in helping the mind and body to relax, which can reduce those pesky digestive issues.  When you’re stressed, that stomachache gets worse, right?  Well, when you’re relaxed, the opposite happens – the pain subsides.  Drumming focuses your mental energy and invites you to stay in the moment, forgetting the stress – and being able to better handle it later on.

    Take it from someone with lifelong digestive issues – you will banish that stress bloat!

    No luck needed – it’s science!

    You don’t need the luck o’ the Irish to get healthy.  You simply need to incorporate rhythm into your daily life on a personal level.  Take a look at this study on the health-related effects of stress, and how drumming helps combat them – stress plays a role in cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes and more.

    Adding rhythm to your daily life adds more presence and mindfulness, which better equips us to deal with life’s challenges.  Drum on your steering wheel on the way to work, dance around to your favorite song while preparing dinner, or try this simple rhythmic breathing exercise before bed.

    Surround yourself with a supportive community

    Sure, you can find community in a bar on St. Patty’s Day, but you can also find it when a group of people share a common interest, like drumming.  As more and more research emerges about the links between social isolation and depression, it becomes increasingly important to offer more easy opportunities for people to make connections.

    Drumming is the rock star of community and togetherness – creating rhythms as a group encourages people to support each other and work toward an aesthetically pleasing musical outcome.

     

    In other words…

    Pick up a drum for your health today.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a bodhran, an infamous bongo (that name that many people like to call all drums), or just you and your steering wheel in the car (no, it doesn’t have to be this crazy!).  Your body will thank you.

    Join us for our upcoming live workshops to experience the drumming fun for yourself!  Group discounts are available!