Recent Events & Articles (Our blog)


  • A stress reduction icebreaker for the Bridge to Business event

    You have to give a presentation in a half hour that highlights your business, your value proposition, and everything you’ve been working toward.  Judges from local companies will be evaluating your pitch and deciding if they’d like to do business with you.  So how are you feeling?  Need a little stress reduction?

    If you answered stressed or anxious, you’d be in good company.  On November 13th, about 60 small businesses and entrepreneurs in the Jax Chamber’s Jax Bridges program had the opportunity to pitch – and many of them were a ball of nerves.

    So what did we do?  Well, a drum circle, of course!  Just Add Rhythm brought the drums to shake out the nerves and get people feeling relaxed and confident in their ability.  Want some stress reduction before your next big event?  Here are some benefits the participants experienced:

    Stress reduction

    Well, duh – that was the main goal!  But why was it effective?  Because it got the participants out of their heads and into their bodies.  When you’re playing a drum, you need to be fully present and in the moment – no looking at your phone or glancing at your note cards one more time.  You focus on the task at hand and keep the beat with those around you.  This usually helps distract participants from their nerves.

    Empathy

    Speaking of distraction, when we start looking around us and matching our beats with that of others, we start to listen more deeply to the sound being created.  Then we start to figure out what others need from us – what we have to contribute to the sound of the whole group.  This helps a lot with the stress reduction as a result.

    Physical activity

    Lastly, we knew we’d be sitting down listening to everyone’s pitches for a good two or more hours.  Wouldn’t it be nice to get in some movement before then?  To warm up our bodies, feel comfortable in our skin, and practice our confident postures?

    By the time the pitches began, everyone was more calm, cool and collected.  Half of us went in one room to pitch to half the judges, the other half in the other room.  In my room, right before we began, someone asked if I could play my drum again to help calm the nerves.  We laughed, we cheered for each other, and we all went up and crushed it.

    Is your group or team doing a presentation and would like some help quelling the nerves before the big event?  Contact us to talk about a stress reduction icebreaker!

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  • Diversity, peace, and unity – drumming at the University of North Florida

    Diversity and unity were at the heart of the University of North Florida’s International Day of Peace event on September 21st, 2018.  Here are some activities we focused on for our drumming session.

    Highlight our common ground and diversity

    We started off with a short activity called “Rumble If.”  The facilitator (or a participant) asks a yes or no question.  If the answer is yes, participants rumble (play a drum roll) on their drums.  I always say this is an excellent way for the group to get to know one another and break the ice.  We find out things we have in common and what makes us unique.

    For example, some questions highlighting diversity and inclusion might include:

    • Rumble if you’re originally from Florida
    • Rumble if you were born in another state/country
    • Rumble if you’re a vegetarian
    • Rumble if you have any brothers or sisters
    • Rumble if you’re the oldest/youngest in your family
    • Rumble if you’ve experienced any stress this week
    • Rumble if you’re a Jags (insert city-specific sports team here) fan

    Set intentions

    Next, we did something called Rhythm Naming.  I invited participants to think of a focus word or goal for the session, or for the rest of the day.  They could focus on a word or phrase such as “reducing stress” or “meeting new people.” After deciding on a word, each person played a representation of that word on their drum.

    People chose phrases such as “peace on earth,” “love is a language,” “smile,” and “go away stress!” And, the rhythms they played on the drum to represent those words showed off their creativity.

    The universal heartbeat

    After that, we got into the meat and potatoes of the session – the drum jam.  The jam is the opportunity for participants to really tap into their creative side and also tune into the others in their group.  We encourage everyone to “play whatever you want as long as it makes us sound good!”  We achieve that by listening to others and figuring out how our rhythm fits in with others’.  But first, we started off with a heartbeat – playing the rhythm of our hearts (“lub-dub” or “boom boom”) and gradually adding in other sounds to explore the rhythm further.  Playing this rhythm solidifies the theme of commonality – we’re all human, we all have a heartbeat, no matter who we are or what we believe.

    Pieces of 8

    Finally, this little game allowed us the chance to see how the rhythm changed the more sounds we added to it.  Participants started off by choosing a number between 1 and 8 (everyone chose their own number), and then they played one “boom” every time they heard their number during the counting aloud.  Then, they chose two numbers to play during the 8-number cycle, doubling the sound that we heard.  Afterward, we talked about what it meant to contribute (even in some small way) to the outcome of the whole.

    We ended the session with a “pair and share,” an opportunity to people to partner up and talk about their favorite parts and takeaways.

    Would you like to offer a unifying drum circle to your group or organization?  Get in touch with us!

     

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  • Summer & drumming go together like PB&J

    Summer is in full swing!  The dog days are upon us.  Beat the heat by beating on a drum this summer in the air-conditioned comfort of your local library!

    Below is a list of branches in Northeast Florida, Southeast Georgia, and South Florida we’ll be drumming at for the rest of the summer – hope we see you there!

    As always, no experience is necessary to participate and have fun.  We bring all the drums!

    Summer drumming in July

    We’ll be offering a special “rhythm and wellness” program for families at the Jax Makerspace on Wednesday, July 11th, 2-3 pm at the Jacksonville downtown library branch.  The event is part of JMS’s current exhibit “Prescribed Expression: Relief in Healing Arts.” We’ll focus on the research that supports rhythm and wellness, including physical, mental, and social-emotional health.

    For more info, visit the JMS Facebook event here!

    Other branches in July include:

    • Tuesday 7/10, Highlands Regional branch (Jax), 3-4 pm
    • Thursday 7/12, Bunnell branch (Palm Coast), 10-11 am
    • Monday 7/16, Bradham Brooks branch (Jax), 11 am-noon
    • Wednesday 7/18, Coffee branch 11 am & Willacoochee branch 2:30 pm (S. Georgia)
    • Thursday 7/19, Westbrook branch (Jax), 3-4 pm
    • Tuesday 7/24, Millhopper branch (Gainesville), 2:30-3:30 pm
    • Saturday 7/21, South Regional branch (Pembroke Pines), 2-4 pm
    • Saturday 7/21, South Miami branch (Miami) 2-3 pm
    • Thursday 7/26, Opa-Locka branch (Miami) 11 am-12 noon

    Extend the summer fun in August!

    We’ll be at one more branch in August!  Come to the Putnam County branch on Saturday, August 4th, 10-11 am.

    Who can resist the allure of drumming and making noise in a library?  We sure can’t!

    Want us to drum at your camp?

    Add rhythm to your summer fun by bringing us to your camp!  In addition to programs for campers, we also offer team-building fun for staff and counselors.  Reach out and learn more!

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