I’ve got some special announcements at the bottom, but first I’d like to give you 3 little tidbits that you can implement into practice immediately! Oftentimes people are reluctant to make rhythm. Shyness, fear, or inhibitions get in the way of free expression.

This happens in most populations, from corporate drum circles to parents of toddlers. Here are three phrases you can use to side step the resistance and unveil the awesome rhythm potential inside of everyone.

Do I have rhythm?

1. “Strike the drum with your hand.” When I enter a session and say “Let’s make some music together!” . . . unless the group or individual is accustomed to making music with me already, usually there is resistance. However, when I give out a simple action step that describes a motion, the object, and the body part, then the rhythm maker just goes with the flow.

The specificity and simplicity do not allow for doubtful thinking such as “Make music? I can’t do that. I don’t have rhythm.” The brain just does what you tell it to, simply and quickly.

2. “Tap, tap, tap with me.” This phrase is a winner because it is rhythmic by nature. I say this phrase while I’m playing a simple beat.

I also move my body and walk to the beat while saying “tap tap tap tap.” That way the participant can visually and aurally perceive the rhythm and transfer to the drum.

3. “This mallet is my gift to you. Here you go.” This phrase is handy for those music-makers who have been resistive in the past.

Instead of asking “Would you like to play?” you can simply frame the experience around the idea that this is what we’re doing now, and everybody is included. If offering the mallet as a gift is still met with resistance, then I let go, revisit the music-maker later on in the session, and offer the gift again.

These phrases go well with eye contact, smiling, dancing, movement, and singing —– of course! Be well, feel good, and make MUSIC. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Now for some announcements

We’ve compiled all the feedback, websites, and results from the Online Zennn course back in August, and these websites are smokin’! You can check them out here.

PLUS I’ll be bearing GIFTS for you at the American Music Therapy conference in Atlanta from Nov 16-20. If you see me, then STOP me, stick out your hand, and tell me you wanna claim your gift! (Hint: Your gift is very handy and practical, and you’ll be able to use it in your next music therapy session.)

Then, I’d love to hear about the awesomeness you are creating in the world. Find me, talk to me, and tell me. Can’t wait to meet you!

I cannot wait to see some web friends at the conference, including the ladies from Music Therapy Pro (I’ll have some business cards at their display in the exhibit hall!), Mundana Music Therapy, Nat from Key Changes, JoAnn from Music Sparks, and so many more!

Special guests at the conference include Mickey Hart (former drummer from the Grateful Dead) and Ben Folds (rockstar song-writer). Super duper excited! I’m presenting and round-tabling a lot. Please please please stop by one of these below to say hello. I’d love to meet you . . .

  • Friday, 11/18 at 2PM: How Social Media Creates New Music Therapy Advocates (Round Table, thanks to Kimberly Sena Moore for organizing)
  • Saturday, 11/19 at 10:45AM: Online opportunities for music therapists’ growth and development (Round Table, thanks to Anita Gadberry for organizing)
  • Saturday, 11/19 at 3:45PM: Online Zennnnnnnnnn – I’ll offer up tons of tips for making your life easier online.
  • Sunday, 11/20 at 1:30PM: CMTE: New Ideas On Drumming With Older Adults. Hands-on. Drumming. Creating. ‘Twill be fun!

That covers it for today. In the comments, I’d love to hear how you work through rhythm reluctance, AND please let me know if I’ll see you at the conference next week!

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