First, make sure to check out my newest project: Online ZEN. You’ll dig it. Now for the team builder:
Here’s how it all went down.
Logistics. Drums and small percussions for 60 engineers are ready to go, already in the seats. Instruments included 13 larger drums (djembes, doumbeks, tubanos), 13 frame drums, tons of metals, shakers, woods. 2 concentric circles on the lawn outside, right next to the beach. Extra mallets and shape drums in the middle. Shure digital wireless mic setup with Bose L1 Compact System and Yamaha Stagepas 300. My assistant JJ plays the gathering drum.
First rumble. Everyone enters the circle, awaiting the manager’s talk. We rumble in the manager to speak.
Introduction. I introduce myself, request rings/watches to be removed, give results and expectations for the event (tied into the corporation’s 3 values).
Groove. Call and response. Team responds well, I call to groove. Each word used in the call to groove is based upon a specific corporate value. Rumble volume up and down to cut.
More groove. Clarify there is no wrong way to play. Groove. Sculpt out individual team members. Shaky at first, then participants get the hang of it. Sculpt out groups of 5-8 once shakiness was assessed. Cut for 4 beats, groove more. Cut, high-five neighbor.
Game. Explain that creating cool rhythms has to do with subdivisions of the beat. Very mathematical. Play Arthur’s 1-8 game. Team *loves* this. Funky groove going on, adding more hits to the rhythm. Sculpt out half circle. Opposite half applauds. Same vice versa. Switch, switch, switch, switch. Rumble to cut.
Chant. I teach the group the clave rhythm. Cut. I tell them that my mentors always say If you can say it, you can play it. We chant the three letter acronym of the team name to the clave rhythm with an “Oh yeah” at the end. Team digs this. We combine chant #1 with #2. Chant #2 is the four-letter acronym of the claim-to-fame product by the corporation. We combine the chants from one side of the circle to the next. Team digs this. We put the rhythms on to the drums for more groovilisciousness. More sculpting, volume changes. Cut.
World rhythm. I explain history and origin of the smaller percussions: woods, metals, shakers. I explain larger drums origins. I mention that my contact told me there was a belly dancer in the group. Lots of laughter, then everyone chants a shy guy’s name. We groove to the Ayub.
Contest. I asked for three volunteers to get up in the middle of the circle and try to facilitate after watching what I had been doing. Whoever got the biggest rumbles at the very end would win a beautiful hand-crafted mini djembe! I believe *this* was the team’s most favorite part. Watching and rooting on their peers proved to be very engaging!
Thank you rumbles. (As explained above.)
Celebration. We ended with a celebration circle, inspired by Christine Steven’s Art and Heart of Drum Circles.
The end! Goofiness, laughing, jokes from team members were sprinkled throughout the entire experience. Not a tough crowd at *all*
Here’s what some team members shared with us afterwards:
This is the first time I have experienced anything like this in any team outing, and it was out of this world! Everyone participated, so much fun and good exercise on top of that!
Please do everything to make this happen more often!
My favorite part was making noise for no real reason.
You can come with ZERO prior experience, still contribute, and enjoy this team building routine!
Twas quite a day! Thanks for reading! =) Kat
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