Recent Events & Articles (Our blog)

  • Community Drum Circle at Greenscape of Jacksonville’s Tree Festival

    What better way to close out the first annual Tree Festival in Metropolitan Park of downtown Jacksonville than a big drum circle?  Festival attendees received free trees to plant while learning about the importance of trees in city planning, home value, and decreasing their utility bills.

    We provided a community drum circle to end the festival on a high note.  Both children and adults had a blast honing their playing skills while learning how drumming can encourage team-building and enhance overall wellness.  Participants had the chance to lead the group in the “wave” (drumming-style) as well as volume cues.  We ended the drum circle by playing a game that illustrates how when each person contributes just one beat to a rhythm, we can make magical music together!

    We love helping you bring awareness to your festival or event through rhythm!  If you’ve got a community or private event coming up that you’d like to add a little rhythm to, contact us!

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  • Pompano: Indoor Summer Drumming Activities – Camp Zion

    Two back to back indoor drumming sessions with Camp Zion in Pompano were just a blast!  Kids enjoyed the rhythm games and controlling the drum circle volume.  Learning leadership, teamwork, and rhythm without breaking a sweat!

    Engaging activities during the drum circle:

    1. Icebreakers – the facilitator starts everyone drumming right off the bat through activities that are designed to elicit smiles, giggles, and outright laughter.
    2. Drum Jam! – participants learn to listen to, play together and support each other as a group. They also have the opportunity to lead the group by utilizing signals to control the volume level and the groups playing.
    3. Interactive games – participants focus on social skills and nonverbal communication skills through games that encourage teamwork. During these games we utilize props such as Boomwhackers percussion tubes, egg shakers, balls, and a crowd favorite, the ‘magic wand.’
    4. Emotional connections – the workshops often end with participants expressing their feelings on the drum by connecting with a specific memory or goal. They then get an opportunity to share their experiences and what they’ve learned – plus do one more group drum roll for one last opportunity to make noise!

    Like what you see?  Book us for your next event!

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  • Regular people: Extraordinary Happiness – what we can learn from the “Happy” video

    Within the past week, you may have heard something about a 24-hour music video called “Happy.”  Rapper-producer Pharrell Williams recently released this video to the public which allows the viewer to skip around to different times of the day.  The upbeat video contains clips of a variety of people dancing and singing to the song while seemingly going about their daily lives.  In many instances, participants are walking through questionable neighborhoods at various times of the day, while onlookers stare at the spectacle of a freely joyful individual.

    Why are the people in the video so darn happy, you might wonder?  In many cases their surroundings are less than stellar, and you might even question if they’d be about to get mugged in real life.  How do we separate ‘happiness’ from our financial state, geography, health, career, schedule, and/or support network?  The cliché answer is that happiness is a state of mind, not a destination or a tangible item.  But in order to approach that state of mind, you do need to make some very real shifts in your thoughts and actions.  Read on to find out how music and drumming could be the shifts you’re looking for.

    Ever hear a song that made you feel you could totally take on the day? (mine is Good Lovin’ – whew, it gets me going!)  How challenging is it to stay energized after the song ends?  Listening to music can be a great mood lifter, but actually playing it (and dancing to it!) can have so many additional benefits.  How to do that in your already jam-packed life?  Well, where do you spend the bulk of your time?  If it’s at the office, then talk to HR about forming a wellness committee for the purposes of creating some stress relief drumming opportunities (like this organization did).  If it’s at home with the kids, then talk to other parents in your neighborhood about joining a family music program or creating one yourself.  If it’s in the car commuting – well, you’re just going to have to master the art of drumming on the steering wheel.  As the owner of Just Add Rhythm, of course I encourage you to contact me (or your local drum guru) to book some music and drumming events that will benefit your particular community.  It’s what I love to do!  But I recognize that we can’t all attend drum circles 24/7, and squeezing in you time can get pretty difficult.  So even if it’s just 5 minutes a day, find a way to connect with your inner rock star/opera singer/Tony Award winner and do something musical and rhythmic and social.

    Your body and mind will thank you for it.  In addition to reducing stress and boosting the immune system, you can also lower blood pressure, help deal with grief, and improve your communication with others through music and drumming as a group.  Utilize your support networks to actively create some opportunities for happiness.  And if JAR can help, just say the word and we’ll be there!

    chalk happy face


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