Recent Events & Articles (Our blog)


  • 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!

  • 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!

  • National Stress Awareness Month – a simple shift

    “Hectic,” “whirlwind,” “consumed,” “crazy,” “on the run,” “way too fast” – do any of these accurately describe how your life feels lately? Stress rears its ugly head.

    In her book Overwhelmed:  Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time, Brigid Schulte interviews Ann Burnett, who since the 1960’s has been chronicling how people describe their lives through holiday letters.  The above descriptions have all become increasingly popular.  After reading this article by Hanna Rosin, I decided to think about how the people in my world handle stress.  What can we be doing more (or less) of?

    Whether you’re a parent, a full-time employee, a student, or a ‘do-it-all-er,’ a simple thought shift just might do the trick.

    The stress response

    We are all aware of nature’s “fight or flight” stress response in animals, and that we humans also possess.  Reactions to a fight or flight situation can include:

    • heart rate acceleration
    • flushing or paling of the complexion
    • constricting of blood vessels
    • shaking

    But are all stress responses created equal?  I’ve had these physical reactions occur before a simple audition as well as just before receiving some very bad news.  In reality, the key lies in recognizing the response and how you handle it.  A little bit of stress here and there can be a helpful thing that can propel you forward.  But it’s the way in which we handle stress long-term that can affect our health positively or adversely.

    Stress-related health complaints

    WebMD claims that “stress can play a part in problems such as headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression, and anxiety.” We’ve all probably experienced a tension headache or difficulty breathing as a result of pressure.  While there is no clear scientific connection between stress and ulcers, nervousness is certainly a contributing factor in many upset stomachs.

    A simple shift

    Let’s go back to the Hanna Rosin article.  The solution is to make a simple shift in the way you approach your daily tasks.  This shift is to stop telling yourself you’re too busy, and simply accomplish what you need to.  Then, ask yourself what’s totally necessary and where you can replace “crappy bits of leisure time confetti” (Schulte’s words) with real, quality relaxation time.

    There are many ways to do this, but since I’m a musician and facilitator, I’m inclined to tout the benefits of music.  Relaxation is not just about fitting something into your day, like playing a game on your phone. It’s about adding up those bits of confetti and turning them into something with long-term benefits – like taking a class, learning a new skill, or scheduling an evening with family. So much research shows that incorporating music into your daily routine in some way can have significant health benefits.

    If we can find the time to be as playful in our busy adult lives as most of us were in our childhoods, there’s no telling what we can accomplish.

    An invitation for you

    So, this month during stress awareness month, I invite you to critically examine your schedule. Identify at least 3 hours (separate or consecutive) of uninterrupted time in which to devote to your well-being.  Check your city’s web page for rhythm and music events, plan an unplugged afternoon, or try a new activity.  Not only will it be fun and relaxing, it will also contribute to being your best you in the future, if you keep it up.  And, trust me on this one – go bang on a drum.

     

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