Rhythm! Discovery Center is one of twenty-one recipients selected to receive grant support from the NAMM Foundation. The funding will allow Rhythm! to continue to offer participatory music programs that increase exposure to music making and its myriad benefits to the Indianapolis community. The NAMM Foundation annually allocates $500,000 in funding to support innovative music learning programs, with the goal of expanding access to active music making.
“NAMM member support through participation at the NAMM shows and membership in the association allow the NAMM Foundation to provide funding to worthy community-based music-making organizations,” said Mary Luehrsen, executive director of the NAMM Foundation. “We are honored to support this important program as together we work to expand opportunities for all persons, at every age to know the joys and benefits of making music.”
The “Find Your Rhythm! Community Outreach Program” is designed as a multi-faceted approach to provide primary-school students access and inspiration to explore the benefits of making music and to encourage their participation in school music programs. The program is designed to reach students in the Indianapolis area who are within a few years of enrolling in school music programs. With mounting evidence that students participating in music education improve in other academic areas, the need to recruit their participation in music is vital.
The program contains two components. The initial experience is a guided tour of Rhythm! Discovery Center or an in-school interactive demonstration. The experiences include a group rhythm event or drum circle that demonstrates the fundamentals of music and allows every student to experiment and experience music making in a fun environment. The second component is a family-oriented Saturday program series at Rhythm! in which families whose children participated in the “Find Your Rhythm” program enjoy Rhythm! free of charge during all events. The goal is to create an environment that will inspire children and families to participate in musical activities.
With the NAMM Foundation’s generous support, Rhythm! has also announced the expansion of the Saturday programs to occur each Saturday for the entire calendar year. The schedule is as follows:
1st Saturday – Percussion Exploration: Build an Instrument
In each workshop, kids explore the world of percussion by building a different percussion instrument. Workshops will include a brief introduction of the instrument, how it makes sounds, what it is used for, and how it is made. Parent participating will be encouraged and necessary in some of the more complicated steps. Recommended for kids ages 4 to 10.
2nd Saturday – Family Drum Circle
Join Rhythm! Discovery Center staff or guest artists for a family-friendly drum circle. People of all ages are welcome. Bring your own instrument, or use one of the many instruments Rhythm! will supply.
3rd Saturday – Rhythm! Special Programs
The third Saturday of each month will feature a different performance or program to educate and entertain all guests. Use this opportunity to learn more about the role of percussion and rhythm in music, societies, and cultures from around the world.
4th Saturday – Find Your Rhythm! Family Adventure
Bring your little adventurers on an exploratory journey through the world of percussion. Get your “Find Your Rhythm Map” to learn about the science of sound, world music, and rhythm. Explore with your child by stamping their passport when they visit each clue. Recommended for kids ages 4 to 10.
In addition to the expanded Saturday initiative, Rhythm! Discovery Center is extending its hours of operation every Thursday. Starting July 10, 2014, Rhythm! will be open each Thursday from 10 am to 7 pm. Each Thursday will also end with a community drum circle at 6:30 pm.
“I am thrilled that the Percussive Arts Society and Rhythm! Discovery Center has once again been selected to receive a NAMM Foundation Grant,” says executive director, Jeff Hartsough. “NAMM’s ongoing support will allow us to continue our work developing and presenting our popular in-house and in-school education programs, promoting the benefits of drumming, and making music more accessible to the Indianapolis schools and community in general.”
The grant is a portion of the National Association of Music Merchant’s (NAMM) annual multimillion-dollar reinvestment into the music products industry. These funds help to provide access to innovative, collaborative programs for all segments of the population. Since 1994, the NAMM Foundation has championed worthy music-making programs around the world with more than 14.2 million dollars in support.