It’s a bird . . . it’s a plane . . .

So, it’s confession time . . . I’ve always wanted to be Batman. And by “I’ve always wanted to be,” I mean, um, I still do. Maybe that explains the move toward having a closet filled with nothing but black shirts and blue jeans. Seems like a very Bruce Wayne thing to do. It might even explain my needing to get off the ground and learn how to paraglide. But let’s get real, what young boy (or girl, for that matter) doesn’t daydream about being a superhero? Ordinary, unassuming dude (or, dude-ette) by day. Serious badass by night . . . flying around, taking down the bad guys.

Xtreme Justice League - the donating drummer

Enter: The Xtreme Justice League

November’s project just might be TheDonatingDrummer’s most fun to-date! Fellow Salem-ite Sean Hicks recently sent in an awesome submission to get help funding the startup of a local, Oregon chapter of the Xtreme Justice League, a real-life team of costumed crime fighters. Yes, you heard correctly!

Already active in the San Diego area (where it was founded in 2006), XJL is a recognised, non-profit organization, looking to expand their efforts to the Willamette Valley. They are concerned citizens donning masks and capes, working with local police departments and the general public to help make a difference in their communities. Check out what they’re up to on the XJL website and Facebook page.

TheDonatingDrummer’s support this month will help Sean and a small group of eager members purchase items intended for neighborhood watch, crime prevention and homeless outreach: flashlights, cell phones, gloves, boots, etc.

My superhero friends

Part of the funding for the Xtreme Justice League project will come from my gig this coming Sunday, November 27th, with this area’s Xtremely Jammin’ League (come on, I can get away with a little cheesy-ness once in a while, right?!)- namely, my good buds Nathan Olsen, John Pounds and Jack Hopfinger! Some of the baddest musicians you’ll find in these parts, we’ll be playing the “Don’t Know Jack” funk/blues/what-have-you jam at Mac’s Place in Silverton that evening from 7-11pm. If you are anywhere in the Salem area, stop by and hang out with us; I guarantee a great night of eats and tunes!

Quick October update!

Last month’s recipient, Rachel See Smith, dropped a line with a note about the drums she was able to purchase for her music therapy practice!

Thanks to TheDonatingDrummer, I had the opportunity to buy my first brand-new instrument for my music therapy service . . . and not just one instrument, but an entire SET of frame drums (a luxury I would not have been able to afford for a long, long time). I was able to bring PURE JOY to a group of kids this week.

The group with which I worked was composed of children with autism or diagnosed as having some form of a communication disorder. Needless to say, communicating in social settings can be quite challenging for them. However, when they were presented with the frame drums today, it was like the door to communication was pushed wide open. The drums served as the perfect tool for interaction– effective, engaging, and non-threatening. Through various songs, interventions and turn-taking activities, children were communicating with each other by playing how they felt on the drums, taking turns playing on one another’s drums (in a conversation-like format) and practicing the rhythmic aspects of speech by following specific patterns on the drums. The group was a success and the frame drums were truly the PERFECT catalyst for promoting and encouraging communication!

(All the pictures of the clients were taken with parental consent)

MusicTherapy1   MusicTherapy2   MusicTherapy3

Thank you . . .

. . . to everyone who has been passing TheDonatingDrummer along to your friends, coworkers, families, tweeps and FB followers. I appreciate all of your help!

(photo by abbynormy)