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Recent Events & Articles (Our blog)


  • Back to school – tips for getting back into the rhythm

    Back to school – sales, preparation, and Facebook photos with kids proudly holding up signs displaying their grade as they show off their shiny new backpacks.

    Back to school can also mean it’s time to tweak your daily and weekly schedule.  It’s time to fall back into the rhythm of the school year.  Even if you’re not a parent, you likely experience some effects of the school calendar – driving through school zones, planning projects around school breaks, and avoiding scheduling meetings until everyone is “caught up.”

    Below are some simple schedule and mindset tweaks to get you back into the school-year rhythm – whether it’s just you or the whole family.

    Plan a weekly or monthly meal cycle

    Whether you’re packing the kids’ lunches or just trying to get back on track with nutrition after several months of eating vacation-style, planning ahead is key.

    Of course, there’s meal planning kits such as Blue Apron, HelloFresh, or -if you’re in the Jax area – Kathy’s Table.  My husband and I started using eMeals, an online meal planning tool that offers affordable payment options and a variety of different dietary accommodations.

    Another resource we utilize is a binder full of recipes organized by type of meal that we can flip through if we want to see what we haven’t made in awhile.  These are recipes we’ve honed over the years so we can easily plan for and make them on the weekend.

    Have you tried the free pickup services that are being offered at many large grocery retailers now, including Wal-Mart, Whole Foods, Target and Publix?  This is great if you plan your meals ahead and take 1-2 days to batch cook.

    Whatever method works for your family, the key is to plan ahead to avoid ‘surprises’ – hunger sneaks up on you and you end up ordering fast food because you’re out of options.  Once you find your rhythm of what works best for you, continue to stick with it and hone it – and utilize all that technology designed to make your life easier!

    Get back into that workout regimen

    During the summer, you might have let the workouts slide – between vacations, visits to family and friends, road trips, and other summer fun, did you maybe excuse yourself from the gym for awhile?

    You might work out at a different time of day during the year than the summer, especially if you’re a parent.  Kids’ drop-off and pickup schedules might be different during the school year, meaning you have to squeeze a workout in during a different time of day.  Figure out what your morning and afternoon school obligations are and design a workout schedule around that – and stick to it.

    Even if you’re not a parent, your exercise schedule in the summer might be totally different than what you’re doing now.  With the days starting to get shorter and the time change coming up, you might find your body is more receptive to workouts at a certain time of day.  Get it on the calendar!

    Plan for fun

    Just because summer’s over doesn’t mean the fun has to end.  Get with your significant other and/or kids and plan some weekend or holiday activities you can all look forward to.  For me, those schedule changes are always more bearable if I know something fun is coming up.

    Check out your city’s local online calendar of events, including festivals, concerts, charity fun runs, museums and more.  When we moved to Northeast Florida, my husband and I started a checklist of places we wanted to go and things we wanted to do in our new area.  It’s fun being a tourist in your own town!

    More back to school fun

    If you’re looking for more fun, head over to our vlog on the Just Add Rhythm YouTube channel to check out monthly ideas of how to incorporate rhythm into your life.  September’s vlog focuses on creating back to school rhythms with your kids.  Rhythm fun for everyone!

    Do you know of a school or organization that would benefit from some back-to-school rhythm fun?  Email us so we can chat about how to help create an unforgettable event!

     

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  • End of summer fun with Putnam County Library

    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.

    Summer learning

    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

    Family fun

    It’s encouraging when the parents, grandparents and other family members participate in the drumming, for two reasons:

    1. They show an interest in their children’s activities and model appropriate and engaging behavior for them
    2. 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!

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  • Drumming in the library – three things you’ll learn

    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:

    Listening skills

    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.

    Leadership skills

    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:

    1. Leading the group in start and stop cues
    2. Leading the group in volume cues (i.e., how loud or soft to play)
    3. Dividing groups into smaller groups and deciding when each should play
    4. 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 skills

    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!

    Drumming at the Jax Makerspace

    Drumming at the Bunnell Library in Palm Coast, FL

    Drumming at the Satilla Regional Library in Douglas, GA

    Drumming at the Millhopper Library in Gainesville, FL

    Be sure to check out our Facebook page for more pictures and videos from summer!

    Want to learn more about our educational programs for school, after-school, and camp settings?  Check out our programs here, and contact us today!

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