Pretty cool day, no question. It was a small gathering of five families, and they showed up ready to play. We talked a little about my background and how music/drumming had served as therapy for so many years. I reminded the kids that they were lucky, because at least they knew what was happening to them and had received a relatively early diagnosis of Tourette’s. Mine took 14 years, which was not exactly what you’d call fun or sane…

We sat in a small circle, and everyone grabbed a hand drum off the shelves. This included parents, who got to play along as well. I showed they how to play a basic beat or two, and we worked with it to see where things went. The point was to play, have fun, and not worry about being a musician or doing anything perfectly. It’s about recreation…

One fun thing was having them play a simple rhythm and then introduce themselves. A simple but effective ice-breaker…

Next, we passed out some percussion instruments and worked with them to discover the different sounds. From there, we moved over to the drum set, my green sparkle Ludwigs, and I showed the kids what was up with the drums and cymbals. I played a little bit, and then I let them sit down and discover the sounds themselves.

Next, they brought over their drums and percussion instruments, and I played a few simple beats on the drums for them to play along with. I let the kids and parents come up next to me and play as I kept a simple 12/8 beat, and then we closed it out with me playing a samba and them jamming along.

All in all, a great day. The folks at REMO support exploring and experimenting with ideas related to rhythm and health, and I appreciate their willingness to let me give this a shot. Hopefully we can do it again, and I’m up for that any time…