Talking Without Words

Oh, now this one is right up my alley!

After ten months of supporting various projects here at TheDonatingDrummer, we, for the first time, have one that involves . . . drums!!

I just got off the phone with Rachel Smith in Austin, Texas, who is excited to purchase frame drums to use with autistic children. I’ll let her explain . . .

I’ve finally been able to start practicing my passion: music therapy! I have scrounged up a few items from Goodwill and I’ve even made many instruments (rhythm sticks, kalimba, etc.) but what I would really love to purchase is a set of frame drums.

Why frame drums?

What I’ve discovered is that my clients with severe autism and/or speech/language disorders are primarily non-verbal or use very little language. Even though they have difficulties with verbal communication, many of them have found they can communicate with me, as well as with their peers, through music.

I would like to set up a regular, 30 min./week drum circle with children under the age of 12 who are diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. I think this would be a highly motivating context in which they have a voice and a choice as to how and when they can communicate. I believe the frame drums would be the perfect communication tool, as they are conducive to producing several different sounds and can be played with a variety of techniques. They’re not too loud or overstimulating (like some musical instruments) for the children with autism and they are very accessible.

frame drums - the donating drummer

Playing drums with kids? Using rhythms and music to communicate, providing a fun approach to wellness and development? As many of you can imagine, this was an easy sell for me!

Check out Rachel’s website for more about her and the awesome work she’s doing with children.

Everybody polka . . . well, almost!

It seemed only fitting to support the month of October’s project with an Octoberfest gig. While still back in the Midwest, that would have more than likely meant me playing with a polka band. Not quite as much of that going on out west here but I did end up finding a fest to play at! But, although I did see/hear one polka band there, I was not in the drum chair this time. I was playing with RockStarLive at the Octoberfest party on the Fort Lewis Army base near Tacoma, Washington. RockStarLive is a super fun live band karaoke show that drags people in the crowd up onstage to fulfill their lifelong dream of being a rockstar and fronting a killer band! Tons of fun. My only regret was not pulling that old lady in her cute German dirndl out on the floor for a waltz during the polka band’s set. Oh, well . . . there’s always next year . . .

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!