Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

On Campus

March 28, 2012

Students enjoys Drums Alive at Sumter Primary

AMERICUS — Jenny Richmond's dance alasses at Sumter County Primary School Fine Arts are filled with structured learning. Richmond's adoption of the Drums Alive program combines dance, fitness and rhythm. With involved instruction, students use Drums Alive to study musical concepts such as  steady beat and tempo and to create dance combinations. In this lesson, kids are using dance steps and rhythms to reinforce classroom learning in mathematical standards. They are creating patterns such as ABAB, AAB and ABC.

The Drums Alive® history is one that originated out of necessity. Carrie Ekins, the originator of the program, suffered a devastating hip injury. The required rehabilitation was the typical long process, and she decided to have some fun while progressing along the recovery pathway. How? She began to drum on boxes, and unexpectedly experienced the positive effects of that  drumming, both aerobically and mentally.

She ventured onto the Internet to explore the reason for the feelings of euphoria while doing the "drumming." What she found was, the brain was definitely being affected. The drum patterns helped the brain to generate enhanced Alpha waves, synchronize the hemispheres, as well as enhance the healing of the body on many levels. Hence, the euphoric feeling, and the birth of a  fantastic program. ... Drums Alive®

Enjoy the drumming, and Drums  Alive® will improve your physical health, as well as neurological well being. Both of them together are a mind/body experience, and are greatly enhanced by the rhythmical drumming patterns.

Drums Alive® joins the dynamic movements of aerobic dance with the pulsating rhythms of the drum. It is a unique sensory/motor program that is designed to give the mind and body instant feedback through continuous movement and rhythmical flow. It is a program that utilizes "whole brain  —  whole body" thinking by developing sensory motor reflexes and kinesthetic awareness. The physiological and psychological benefits are numerous including those found in traditional forms of aerobic fitness. Drumming has also been found to improve and increase the neurological connection between the two brain hemispheres, stimulating Alpha brain wave  activity which can lead to higher levels of concentration, sensory/motor improvement and an overall sense of well being.

Rhythm and music have been an integral part of our lives throughout history. It has always been associated with spirituality, songs of worship, rites  of passage, chants, praise and has also been accepted as a healing strategy. Music and rhythm bond people together; it is a way of communication and of celebration Our first experience with rhythm began safe within in our mother s womb. The two rhythms joined together creating a peaceful and calming song. Rhythmically we are most drawn to the patterns that emulate the ongoing dance of life, the heartbeat, ocean tides, lunar cycles and the rise and fall of our breath.

Rhythm and movement in the form of drumming and dance are ancient technologies  for raising energy, inducing ecstatic experience, as well as providing a  sense of community. Rhythmical movement is an aesthetic experience and aesthetic pleasure. Musical rhythm depended absolutely on motor consciousness for it is fullest expression. That expression is found in the powerful rhythms and dynamic dance of the Drums Alive program.

Readers are encouraged to access additional information at the Drums Alive Website

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