Recent Events & Articles (Our blog)


  • Three things the Olympics taught us about life

    Every year, the world goes all atwitter over an international sports event.  This year, it’s the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.  Suddenly, sports most of us rarely give thought to are in the forefront.  We find ourselves becoming sudden fans of bobsledding, figure skating, and skiing.

    As fraught with sensationalism, drama, and heartbreak as these events may be, they have a lot to teach us about life.  Similarly, these are also lessons I’ve learned over the years as a drummer and drum circle facilitator.

    Trust and authenticity are absolutely paramount.

    Did you see Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir’s gold medal-winning ice dance routine?  Even if you’re not a fan of ice dance, you can’t help but be captivated by their charisma and energy on the ice.

    I can’t even imagine the level of trust required for this type of event; you’re literally putting your life in someone else’s hands day in and day out.

    Do you want to be seen as trustworthy in your line of business?  People trust you when they know you, and people do business with those they trust.

    The best way to be trustworthy?  Be you – unequivocally you.  When you’re your authentic self, and you highlight your strengths (and accept your weaknesses), people will get to know and trust the real you.

    I know that as a facilitator, my strengths are my extensive music and dance background, as well as my energy and playfulness.  When I play to those strengths when facilitating a session, I know people will see the real me, and trust me to guide them through a memorable and valuable experience.

    Repetition, repetition, repetition.  Repeat.

    As a musician and a drum circle facilitator, I’m familiar with the concept of practice makes perfect.  Just as Olympic athletes need to run a course or routine (or simply a specific component) over and over again, we musicians need to develop a similar type of muscle memory when playing.

    Guess what? It comes in handy in other instances, too.

    Giving a presentation?  Better make sure you know your speech, your slides, and even your dramatic pauses backward and forward.

    Getting a certification to bump up your pay grade?  The more you go over the material with study groups and practice exams, the more confident you’ll be on exam day.

    Humans are creatures of habit.  Once we establish a nice flow state, we tend to notice that things are a little less stressful.

    How you communicate may be the difference between success and failure.

    As I watched the Olympic events that rely on teams and partners, I often wondered about how well those teams communicated among themselves.

    From the first Nigerian women’s bobsled team to the Knierim-Knierim figure skating pair who failed to medal but won the hearts of Americans, it’s clear that communication is key when you rely on each other to get the job done.  Whether that job is lifting a skater through a series of flips and catches, or working with a team to complete a project for a client, how well you communicate with each other determines your level of success.

    When I facilitate rhythm events, I introduce simple methods of non-verbal communication, first between the participants and me, and then among the participants themselves.  As the facilitator, my job is to introduce these simple tools, encourage the participants to recognize them, and then further, encourage them to utilize them with each other during the drumming.

    Typically, a breakdown in this communication means a breakdown on the rhythm.  When the tools work, we sound better, and we’re more in tune with each other’s strength and challenges – and better able to support the group.

    To sum it up

    So, thanks, Olympics.  Thanks for reminding us every other year that we need to get off our you-know-what’s and make a difference in our lives – whether it’s athletic or work-related.  Thanks for highlighting those skills and disciplines that we need to hone so we can excel, and to nudge ourselves to be our very best.

    Want to learn how to utilize rhythm to help your organization or team function at its best?  Get in touch with us!

    Curious about rhythm and how it can help you relax and re-focus?  Check out our upcoming events in Jax.

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  • Wrapping up a year of impact in South and North Florida

    WOW – what an impact-filled year!  Thanks to the more than 60 organizations who booked Just Add Rhythm in 2017, we were able to empower more than 4,000 people of all ages through rhythm! 

    Drumming with recovery populations

    This year we had the opportunity to provide therapeutic drumming programs to a recovery center in South Florida at their Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale sites.  Clients participated in weekly drumming sessions that focused on stress reduction, building and strengthening healthy relationships, and effective communication.  Some of their feedback included:

    • It “helped me get out of my comfort zone”
    • It “brings me happiness and peace”
    • It’s “great for my recovery”

    Drumming in after-school programs

    From South to North Florida, we drummed it up in the after-school programs.  Communities in Schools of Jacksonville is currently enjoying monthly and twice-monthly drumming programs at four of their elementary school sites.  One site coordinator remarked, “it’s another way [for students] to release energy and it teaches them to work together as a group.”  So, rhythm has a significant impact on teamwork!

    We also had the pleasure of providing weekly programs to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida‘s Butler Middle School after-school program.  Students learned about teamwork, collaboration, and communication with the evidence-based DRUMBEAT curriculum.

    Meanwhile in South Florida, we drummed with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward, the Broward Children’s Center, Smith Community Mental Health Center, After-School Programs of Broward, and more.

    Both students and staff enjoy the hands-on aspect of playing the drums and creating their own rhythms!

    Drumming for community impact

    Many organizations strengthened their communities by adding rhythm to their events, including:

    I’m confident we can help your company or organization strengthen its connections to one another through rhythm.  Please reach out to us and find out how!

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  • 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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